The Personal Ads

 The Personal Ads

"The Personals Ads" is a new body of work (2017) that is based on an advertisement I placed in The Village Voice, NYC in 2000 under "Women Seeking Men". 

It read:

Princess Buttercup seeking her Westleigh.  I, too, have long, golden hair and have been captured by too many unsavory men. Be my hero and save me from such fate.


Princess Buttercup and Westleigh are two characters from a novel and subsequent movie, The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. It is a humorous take on the fairy tale format.

I wanted to advance a familiar narrative by providing a framework for people to express what they might be looking for in a potential mate.

Twelve men called in and I recorded their messages.

Listening to their voices, I conjured up images of what I thought they might look like based on how they described themselves but also very much based on my cultural background, experiences and biases.

Then, I drew the men using law enforcement software that is used for witnesses in identifying suspected criminals. Using the software’s limited bank of facial elements and my own, admittedly, biased image bank, I constructed multiple drawings, finally settling on a composite. With the use of video layering, the viewer watches me constructing the men’s images over time, never fully satisfied with the image of a man I have never witnessed.