Sick Bacchus: A GRINDR Love Story

Sick Bacchus: A Grindr Love Story


Large Format Photography | Framed Video | Digital Photography

Sick Bacchus: A Grindr Love Story

43” x  55.5”

4x5 Large Format Film 

Sick Bacchus: A Grindr Love Story



A Social Media “Vanitas Selfie”

An aesthetic investigation that traces the potential consequences of Grindr, the all-male geosocial networking technology, as it accentuates and accelerates the struggles with disease and drug abuse that is inherent in contemporary gay and bisexual communities.

After Caravaggio’s self-portrait as Young Sick Bacchus from 1593, this phenomenological study serves as a medium for further cultural awareness and critique of the impact of social media on the human condition through the language of allegory. This series of works seeks to reveal aspects of reality as our contemporary sense of being is embodied in an extended technological world.

These theoretical and physical gestures act as symbolic and material functions to investigate the nature of the current relationship between technology and cultural humanity.

Caravaggio’s Self-Portrait as Young Sick Bacchus;  or Bacchino Malato, 1593

HD Video and Digital Print Installation at
the University of Texas Visual Arts Center:

From Daily Xtra’s Twenty Questions for Grindr Creator Joel Simkhai:

“Xtra: Can you explain what the name and logo are about?Simkhai: The word Grindr comes from a coffee grinder. We’re mixing people up together, a bit of a social stew. It is a little bit rough – not to mix, but to grind. Our design, logo, colouring – we wanted something a little bit tougher, rough. It’s also very masculine. It’s a masculine word, sound. We wanted something that wasn’t necessarily about being gay. It could be anything. We looked at this notion of meeting people and the idea is very much a basic human need to relax and to socialize. I went back to primitive tribal arts in Africa and Polynesia. One of the things I saw was these primal masks. It brings us back to basics, primal needs. Socialization is the basis of humanity.”


Work in collaboration with Clayton Smith Westmeier

Make-up by the talented Ashley Hancock: ashleyraehancock.com

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