Having your heart broken, your confidence shattered and your self-esteem destroyed through online dating can be quite an emotionally distressing experience.
And sharing these stories often only adds to the embarrassment; yet this is exactly what London-based photographer Gary Cohen is doing.
The 41-year-old, originally from California, joined the world’s most popular dating application after a friend suggested it could be the answer to his lack of female attention. He said:
“I didn't think I was good-looking enough for Tinder, but I gave it a go.”
“The first week I only swiped right [or liked] the girls I was actually interested in. When I got no matches I decided to just say yes to everyone,” he adds.
After a couple of months of being matchless, Gary told a friend about his dismal luck, who thought it could be the subject of a depressing, but interesting, project.
He spent just a few weeks collecting and collating some of the profile images of the people who swiped left on his profile. These would end up in the final project.
“Over two months I liked 1,000 profiles and had 0 matches.”
Rejected is Gary’s envision of the dating game – 52 playing-style cards compiling some of the one thousand men and women who jilted him on Tinder, along with their profile descriptions.
"The women I came across had very similar profiles (I'm sure the guys do too), he explains, "almost all of them said they were not interested in one night stands, did not want to trade naked photos, and did not want to see men stroking tigers.”
Gary seems to thinks his poor luck is down to his appearance; others seem to think it’s because he talks about rats and pigeons too much. “I originally put that one my profile [for a few weeks] as a counterpoint to me ironically having a cat.”
“I thought it was funny, but my friends agreed it was ‘because they knew me’. For me, the girl that I'm with has to have a good sense of humour, so that was a pretty good starting point” he adds.
As an avid collector of photo books, Gary is quite the critic. He started photography aged eight, but stopped for a brief while when he started working in a major LA radio station.
Over the years the focus of his images has changed, which he which he believes is down to becoming more aware of the history of photography. “That knowledge has influenced me”
“I used to be about getting the single image, and now I'm more interested in building up a story.”
A good analogy is something like South Park, he suggests. "The animation is crap, but at the end of the episode it doesn't matter at all. It's the story that makes you laugh, usually.”
Gary is working on the next chapter of his dating game; and looking to incorporate some technical wizardry with a working model of a Lonely Hearts-style online dating application.
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