Curated by Wilson Duggan, Single and Looking was organized using online dating sites to find single gay, straight, and bisexual men and women in Brooklyn who self-identify as artists on their dating profiles. Of the dozens of people invited to apply, the eight artists selected for the show represent a wide range of artistic practices and styles.
At the closing party for the show, Saturday, March 16th, the artists will be available for speed-dating with the audience; all of the artwork on view will be up for sale in a silent auction format, as will dates with the artists themselves. Personally, I’m hoping that the follow up to this show is Single and Looking for an Orgy.
It had my three favorite keywords: art, sex and booze.
I attended both the opening and the speed dating party. First of all, the art was great and you still have another week to see the show, so head over to Art Helix and check it out. I focused on the artists themselves. Why were all these young, attractive people single? What did they really want in terms of dating and relationships? Would they be interested in any Dr. Lisa advice?
I managed to do a little speed therapy on all the GOOD-LOOKING artists. See if you can identify with one or more of them and you may gain some insight on your own issues. Or maybe you would like to go on a date with one of these talented, attractive artists? If so, say hi to them in the comments!
LAKE LATENT, straight female, 30, painter. (Yes, she really does make a living!)
Has lived in this town: More than 10 years. Oy, time makes fools of us all.
How do you feel about being single? It’s better than being trapped in a loveless marriage for the sake of children who don’t appreciate you and will never call when you’re old? (I’m assuming.) I prefer being in a steady, exclusive, long-term relationship, but I appreciate the freedom singledom has afforded me.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? I guess I’m still single because I haven’t found the right person. Or more likely that I choose the wrong people. It can also be extremely difficult to choose someone if there are so many great options. That, or my crippling fear of kittens.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? I hadn’t really thought about singledom and dating being competitive before, but I found myself somewhat eyeing up the other artists. After a fleeing moment of “Bitches, it’s ON,” I went back to reality and I remembered there’s no such thing as competitive dating. I also usually don’t mention my work while meeting people, so this was the first time my creative self played a factor in my mingling. And I did meet several really nice people.
Dr. Lisa says: Lake is a bombshell and said she liked nerdy guys. Lake’s all into Star Wars and The Simpsons – that kind of stuff. From her reaction I don’t think she realizes how intimidating she is to guys who are not sexually aggressive and competitive. I think it would be good to try to make a less aggressive guy feel powerful by focusing all her energy on him. That way they could both forget what a bombshell she is and observe whether or not they’re enjoying each other’s company.
ZACHARY ARES, gay male, 26, illustrator and animator.
Has lived in this town: 7 months.
How do you feel about being single? Pretty okay about it. It gives me time to focus on my career and life.
Why you think you are still single and dating? I guess finding someone who is at the same point in his life as I am, i.e. a path of work that he’s passionate about. Also, recently moving to a new city from my hometown definitely shakes up established relationships.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? It didn’t affect them too much. And while I didn’t meet anyone new that I could date per se, it is always a wonderful experience to expose your art to new viewers. That was my goal, first and foremost.
Dr. Lisa says: Zachary is new to town. From chatting with Zach, I’d say he’s a charismatic guy and lives with a close friend so I think he has a stable home base, wants to have a good time, and he seems adept at meeting people. I say, “Live it up Zachary. You have plenty of time to settle down.”
REBECA ACOSTA, full-blown heterosexual, 24, kiln operator.
Has lived in this town: 3 years.
How do you feel about being single? Not sure I generally have feelings about being single. It is more like I have a natural urge to want to share my life with someone; so do most people. Maybe I have instincts about being with someone.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? I am a horrible person and I smell. Honestly, I’m not really a dater. I just want something to happen naturally, like puberty. Maybe less awkward than that, if possible.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? I didn’t meet anyone romantically. My feelings about dating are the same, I guess. It is just important for one to be true to oneself and the rest will fall into place. It would be nice to be with someone, but I’m not in a rush. I’m thinking about grad school, work, and the rest of my life.
Dr. Lisa says: While I enjoyed meeting Rebeca, I didn’t feel like she needed me to butt into her business. She was pleased to be in the show, but I was left wondering why she was bothering with a dating website, since she didn’t seem interested in focusing her energy on dating at this point in her life.
BEATA CHZANOWSKA, lesbian, 25, freelance artist/artist assistant.
Has lived in this town: 8 months.
How do you feel about being single? Before I came out, I loved being single. I had all the time in the world to work on my artwork during the day and go out at night; it was a routine I got used to. Since moving to NY I’ve decided to really pursue dating because I felt more confident with my sexuality and I didn’t see the point in waiting any longer. Now I do enjoy being single; I am in no rush to be in a relationship. I do keep my eyes peeled and go on many dates because sometimes you just never know if you might hit it off with someone.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? I am still single because I fully came out last September. Though I was aware of my sexuality for a while, so it wasn’t a complete transitionary shock. New York has been a great place to explore my sexuality and I feel like I have definitely made up for lost time. I feel more invigorated about life now; being a late bloomer doesn’t bother me at all. At 25, it’s great to be able to say that life feels brand new.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? Surprisingly I had a lot of gay men come up, talk to me and decide right there that we should be friends, and I agreed! Double date instead? I’m for it. The show was a fun experience for me. It brought out my inner child, like when you are in grade school and you go to your first dance. I did have some people that I had gone out on dates before come to the show, which definitely said something. Being single brought this experience to me, so being solo and on the hunt definitely has its perks.
Dr. Lisa says: I’ll say the same thing to Beata as I did to Zachary. Beata is also new to town, plus she’s newly out as a lesbian. She’s a very charming, young lady who just doesn’t seem lonely to me. So live it up Beata! You have plenty of time to settle down.
AUTUMN WHISMAN, bisexual, 27, hairstylist/in-salon educator and team leader.
Has lived in this town: 3.5 years.
How do you feel about being single? Overall, I feel good about it because it has allowed me to put a lot of my energy into myself first and become successful in NY. In other words, I’ve been solidifying my own foundation and I believe I am now ready for a long-term relationship.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? Historically, I have jumped into exclusive relationships quickly and found myself trying to make it work when I knew in my heart that it wasn’t what I wanted. I also believe that I wasn’t living my own life as balanced as I could so I wasn’t attracting partners who were at a place in their life to have a serious relationship either. I have taken the last year to slow down and discover my authentic wants and needs so that I can recognize when it’s a good fit.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? I felt shy and a little fearful about it at first, but the group setting put me at ease. I met a lot of great people through participating in the show, including the other artists. I found it fun and it was an awesome alternative to online dating. I felt like it took the pressure off of the idea of reading first impressions because I got to see my potential dates talking with other people besides me and vice versa. Body language tells a lot about a person.
Dr. Lisa says: When I talked to Autumn, I got a sense that some of her relationships had a little bit of too much mutual dependency. Some time on her own is necessary for growth so she doesn’t continue a pattern of settling down too quickly. I feel good about Autumn’s future. She said something cool to me: “The more open I am to people I meet, the more open I am period.”
JUAN DANIEL CERDA, gay, 30, food server/part-time baker.
Has lived in this town: 1 year and 9 months.
How do you feel about being single? It’s pretty awesome. So many boys, so little time
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? I didn’t meet anyone to date, but met some cool, young people getting their start in the art world. It reminded me that the best way to meet someone is to not look for them. Just keep doing what I like to do and someone will come along eventually…
Dr. Lisa says: I think Juan should hook up with Zachary.
JORDAN COOPERMAN, Heterosexual, 26, web designer/developer.
Has lived in this town: 3 years.
How do you feel about being single? I’d prefer not to be, but I’m okay with it.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? Because I’m very particular about the types of people that I choose to spend my time with.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? It was nice to go to an event with other people in the same position as myself. It makes you realize that there are plenty of people who are outgoing enough and also want to be in a relationship. I was a little disappointed that the focus seemed on relationships as opposed to art, largely because I would imagine art is so personal. Putting the artist next to their art would make it difficult to look at without feeling self-conscious. I met many people, and have a date with one person that was kind of off the books. Probably better that way, we’ll see how it goes.
Dr. Lisa Says: From my conversation with Jordon, I got the feeling that he was very picky about who he spends time with, friends included. I think that Jordon may be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to finding people he enjoys spending time with. That’s not to say he doesn’t really like people – he spoke glowingly of his friends. I worry that Jordon may have very specific expectations of the women he dates and it will take him a long time to meet “the right person.” Also, when he does, he may be disappointed when he gets to know them if they don’t turn out to be the way he imagined. However, I am super happy that he made a date with someone that he met from the show!
SAM CARCAMO, 26, freelance cartoonist/ illustrator.
Has lived in this town: My entire life.
How do you feel about being single? I don’t mind it, though I would rather be in a relationship.
Why do you think you are still single and dating? Just haven’t found that perfect partner in crime yet.
How did your participation in this art exhibit affect your feelings about being single and dating? Did you meet anyone through it? Made me wonder If I do these things because I want to have a few crazy stories or if I’m lonely? Maybe it’s a bit of both?
Dr. Lisa says: I got the impression that Sam is getting laid enough and says he enjoys dating because he “likes talking to strangers and doing different things.” I love his attitude! I think Sam does want a girlfriend, but I got the sense that he needs someone who shares his particular, perhaps somewhat quirky, interests.
Get yourself to this show at ArtHelix and maybe you can meet one of these happening single folks! Be sure to leave them a note if they’re not at the gallery when you are.
Dr. Lisa, S.P. (Self-Proclaimed) is ready to address any issue about your art, life, job, sex, you name it. She answers all emails and she will post some of her responses right here. Please send emails to: [email protected].