Sean Fader

Sean Fader is an artist who uses photography and performance to create encounters with his subjects. His background as an actor is his heaviest influence, and he applies his study of characters, images and identities to the photographic medium. In I Want To Put You On, he makes portraits that fuse his body with that of his sitters. The images are the result of a process in which he asks his subjects to pose in the way that they envision themselves being seen. Fader takes the photograph, and then poses himself like the original sitter and takes his own portrait in order to merge the two images into one. The composition of these portraits is humorous, sensual and otherworldly–it appears that Fader is “wearing” the bodies of his subjects.  For SUP or What Are You Looking For, he spent a year making portraits of men he met through online dating sites. He calls this approach “lived performance” because he recognizes that the art is inseparable from his daily life experiences. For this piece he went on dates with men whose profiles he was attracted to. Upon meeting them, Fader asks for permission to take their portraits, posing his dates in the manner in which he had envisioned them. He then asks his companions to express themselves by posing for an image that represents who they are in that moment. The two images are presented side by side. This work focuses on the way people edit themselves to appear more desirable, and the disjunction between our public and private selves. The generosity in his practice comes from his desire to use photography to create intimacy between people, and bring awareness to how we imagine ourselves as a way of getting closer to the authentic self.

Click here to see the un-edited footage of Sean.


I Want You to Put On, Gus with Maxie, 2007

I Want You to Put On, Raini, 2007

I Want You to Put On, Dad, 2007

From SUP or What Are You Looking For, 2011

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