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Work Samples

The Model gwip, charcoal & sumi in on canvas,24"x28", 2020

male nude on phone charcoal on canvas
When I chose to return to "guyswithiPhones" in 2019, no hint of the coming pandemic was in view. A subject I’ve turned to over the last decade suddenly took on a new meeting. No longer a study on the male gaze, it became a study on survival. How do we express longing and desire in a world where physical proximity can kill us? Perhaps this community learned from HIV/AIDS that virtual reality was the safest reality. As a single friend text me “all dicks are virtual now“. This is sexuality at a social distance.

WEDDING NIGHT (FIGHT)

oil painting figure on canvas
Most of my found photo based works are about the relationship between the subject and the photographer. It's their looks being captured in that one moment by the camera lens that I'm focussed on. I first recognized what had been capturing my attention about the found photographs when I got a black velvet painting copy of Salvadore Dali's Jesus on the cross. In that painting the viewer is put into the position of being God looking down on Jesus.

POLY CRACKERS

oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students, girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.

WET DREAMS

female nude, ink on paper
"Wet Dreams" harkens back to early childhood roaming in the woods. Finding a cache of rain soaked Playboys tucked under a log, the mysteries of woman were revealed in a 1970's way. Meaning, completely mysterious and tan lined. The repetition of this model's form, perfectly symmetrical from front to back, turns into a mountainous landscape.

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About Spoon

Baltimore City

Spoon Popkin's picture
A lifelong love of drawing and curiousity for looking into the private lives  fo strangers has led my explorations of yearbooks & online photo sites. My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that... more

guyswithiphones 2020

When I chose to return to "guyswithiPhones" in 2019, no hint of the coming pandemic was in view. A subject I’ve turned to over the last decade suddenly took on a new meeting. No longer a study on the male gaze, it became a study on survival. How do we express longing and desire in a world where physical proximity can kill us? Perhaps this community learned from HIV/AIDS that virtual reality was the safest reality. As a single friend text me “all dicks are virtual now“. This is sexuality at a social distance.

The focus of the "Guys with iPhones" continues with "the gaze". These images were taken by the subject, as documenter, alone, mostly in bathrooms (possibly the most personal space in existence) to be shared with a very specific audience. There is a fractured relationship to "the gaze" here. As he looks at himself in the mirror, he is both subject AND photographer. His image is reflected back from the mirror into the iPhone's camera lens with his desires laid bare. The image is then transmitted via satellite to the website, where it is then swiped up by the final viewer on their own iPhone to be interpreted anew. The internet makes limiting the intended audience impossible, giving me free rein to view to these men's most personal desires.

Poly Crackers Yearbook

 I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students, girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.

This series ws done on all oil paint on 10"x10" canvases 

  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    Some images were repeated as many as 10 times, one version after the other. I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.
  • POLY CRACKERS

    oil painting on canvas, portraits,yearbooks, baltimore
    POLY CRACKERS I find the egalitarian aspect of the yearbook format liberating. Every person get exactly equal treatment - race, religion, sex, nationality, popularity- none of these factors change the simple black and white pic that is your final representation. I especially love that this Baltimore yearbook seems to be incredibly diverse with sikh students (what's their bun/turban called?), girls with huge Farrah flips & guys with amazing, carved M.C Hammer hair. It showcases the best side of Baltimore's multi-cultural population in the 1980's.

Found Portraits

Most of my found photo based works are about the relationship between the subject and the photographer. It's their looks being captured in that one moment by the camera lens that I'm focussed on. I first recognized what had been capturing my attention about the found photographs when I got a black velvet painting copy of Salvadore Dali's Jesus on the cross. In that painting the viewer is put into the position of being God looking down on Jesus. This ah-ha moment made me see that my paintings were putting the audience in the position of becoming the friend or relative who snapped the original photo.

  • WEDDING NIGHT (FIGHT)

    oil painting portrait
    Most of my found photo based works are about the relationship between the subject and the photographer. It's their looks being captured in that one moment by the camera lens that I'm focussed on. I first recognized what had been capturing my attention about the found photographs when I got a black velvet painting copy of Salvadore Dali's Jesus on the cross. In that painting the viewer is put into the position of being God looking down on Jesus.

Meatmen

Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.

  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder ink on paper
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.
  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder ink on paper
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.
  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder ink on paper
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.
  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder ink on paper
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.
  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder on iPhone charcoal on denril
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.
  • MEATMEN

    Male bodybuilder ink on paper
    Pure testosterone. Muscle strata laid bare. Like a Bodyworlds exhibit with a skin suit.

Apologies by Proxy

HAVE YOU BEEN WRONGED?
ARE YOU OWED AN APOLOGY?
IN 3 MINUTES TELL US THE TALE AND WE WILL GIVE YOU YOUR OVERDUE APOLOGY

www.apologybyproxy.com

My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that resonates for me. It may be said that the true subject of this work is the human heart and that the time at which the piece is created is only the beginning of it's full existence.

  • guest Apologist, Dr. Malcolm Seymour

    HAVE YOU BEEN WRONGED? ARE YOU OWED AN APOLOGY? IN 3 MINUTES TELL US THE TALE AND WE WILL GIVE YOU YOUR OVERDUE APOLOGY In 3 minutes or less you tell the tale of an event you felt you were owed an apology for that never came. We then give you that apology. You keep your apology for when you need it and when you are ready, pass it on to someone else who needs one. 100 apologies were given at this location over 4 days.
  • I'm sorry

    photo: John Dean
  • kid

Love Letters

Love Letters is an interactive performance piece. The audience comes to our table stocked with glittering writing supplies to create a Love Letter to an anonymous individual: someone who loves stars
tall, dark and hamster
drunk redhead guy
blonde athlete drinker

Our fleet of fully costumed mail carriers then head off to find the intended recipient. With illuminated hats and fuzzy mailbags, they bellow out in search of said recipient who is spotted & a Love Letter is delivered! You have gotten an anonymous Love note- what could be better!

http://www.lovelettersbaltimore.blogspot.com/

My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that resonates for me. It may be said that the true subject of this work is the human heart and that the time at which the piece is created is only the beginning of it's full existence.

  • Love Letters

    Love Letters is an interactive performance piece. The audience comes to our table stocked with glittering writing supplies to create a Love Letter to an anonymous individual: someone who loves rainbows, is wearing red underwear, hates The Beatles, whoever they want it to be delivered to. Our fleet of fully costumed mail carriers then head off to find the intended recipient. With illuminated hats and fuzzy mailbags, they bellow out in search of said recipient who is spotted & a Love Letter is delivered!
  • blonde athlete drinker

    the anonymously written Love Letters find their unique recipients
  • smile laugh

    the anonymously written Love Letters find their unique recipients
  • family

    This entire family received letters. From the left: someone with glasses, to a Middle Eastern woman with a warm heart and smile, to anyone who's initials spell a word, Oldest person around, a human.
  • beer

    Rush of beer and love!
  • handsome confused

    handsome uniformed man someone who is confused
  • Love Letter call

    Special Agent Kelley Bell calls for letter writers
  • Mail delivery

    Special Agent Alice Anonymous delivers the mail

Daytime Celestials

A series of daylight observatories were constructed and participants invited to lie down & relax. Previously undiscovered constellations were viewed: chocolate disappointment, deer in headlights, handlebar mustache.... Many found themselves so absorbed and calmed by the new discoveries they drifted off to a meditative sleep in the middle of the crowd, Privacy in a public place.

6 Celestial of 3'x2'x3' were placed in a ring 20 feet in diameter.

My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that resonates for me. It may be said that the true subject of this work is the human heart and that the time at which the piece is created is only the beginning of it's full existence

Cell Phone Survey

A survey of cell phone use (dependency, fear of cancer, dreams, intimacy) was conducted via said cell phones while portraits of the subjects were drawn. This project was done way back in 2007? Before we were fully addicted to our phones. Back when they were objects of consideration.

My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that resonates for me. It may be said that the true subject of this work is the human heart and that the time at which the piece is created is only the beginning of it's full existence

Inspirational Soundhenge

In our society we're bombarded with messages on how to become the perfect you. It suggests that if youâ??re not living up to your fullest potential, you are a disappointment, a failure.
The great American myth is that anyone can grow up to be president. If you have the dedication & willpower, you can be anything. Luckily, if you donâ??t have the strength to do it on your own, there's a host of people waiting for you to pay them to tell you just how to do it.

Inspirational Soundhenge is culled from my collection of found self help tapes. These were found in the trash & thrift stores- where I'm sure the now successful business people of America had deposited them. There actually is some good advice on these tapes, but also mysterious tidbits as "A marriage has eyes, but also eyelids"?

The full effect of the white noise from all this inspiration coming at once is alternately peaceful and terrifying. The sound may soothe as waves on a shore until Susan Powter calls out to "stop the insanity!".

My performance work centers on contextual audience based installations. Without the participants the work could not exist. There is often an element of emotional catharsis. Be it the unburdening of a secret pain, desire to give love or the gift of a moment of peace, it is this recognition of the connection and commonality of all people that resonates for me. It may be said that the true subject of this work is the human heart and that the time at which the piece is created is only the beginning of it's full existence.

  • Inspirational Soundhenge

    In our society weâ??re bombarded with messages on how to become the perfect you. It suggests that if youâ??re not living up to your fullest potential, you are a disappointment, a failure. â??Inspirational Soundhengeâ? is culled from my collection of found self help tapes. These were found in the trash & thrift stores- where Iâ??m sure the now successful business people of America had deposited them. There actually is some good advice on these tapes, but also mysterious tidbits as â??A marriage has eyes, but also eyelidsâ??

Wet Dreams

"Wet Dreams" harkens back to early childhood roaming in the woods. Finding a cache of rain soaked Playboys tucked under a log, the mysteries of woman were revealed in a 1970's way. Meaning, completely mysterious and tan lined. The repetition of this model's form, perfectly symmetrical from front to back, turns into a mountainous landscape.

Connect with Spoon

Spoon's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.