Artwork / Mutually Beneficial / Brutally Honest

portrait of a young man the artist met online
Gwenn Seemel
Brutally Honest
acrylic on canvas patchwork
20 x 20 inches

When The Oregonian decided to review Mutually Beneficial and asked to speak with some of the subjects of the series, I was in a bit of a bind. After all, I had promised the participants that I would never reveal their identities. I gave a couple of the men the critic’s contact information, and to my delight this subject spoke with the art critic. I love it when subjects tell their side of the portrait story, like this writer did.

What follows is the personal ad which the subject of this portrait posted.

“You’re false advertising. You’re actually a nice guy.” - 25

Reply to: anonPOST-123
Date: 2005-05-09, 12:02PM PDT

This was one woman’s excuse for not dating me any more. So what this means is that if you’re looking for a nice guy who masquerades as an asshole, I’m your man.

I’m a young urban professional. I have a college education, a good job that pays bills and leaves me with play money, a car, and an awesome apartment. I am a consumer, and I like it. I now need artwork for my spacious walls, can you recommend any good places to get some? I like the Goodfoot’s art a lot, but the last time I was there I didn’t see anything that screamed at me.

I’m an extremely outgoing and gregarious person. I like hanging out with people, doing whatever we want to. I don't really like being alone that much, I’d rather watch crappy TV with someone than watch crappy TV alone. If you like to be alone, just tell me and I’m off to do my own thing then. Not a problem really. Politically, I lean toward the sky. I hate all politicians for their partisan bullshit.

Some people are horribly offended by my easy-going yet brutally honest nature. But beneath all that, I’m actually a nice guy (notice the title?). I’ll treat you good and cook you dinner on your birthday. That’s not a punishment, I actually cook well.

You should be comfortable in your own skin. Generally this means older than me, around 30 or so, but if you’re a badass 21 year old, who am I to judge? You should have goals in life. Goals are important because they give you direction and purpose, which make you more interesting. You should have a handle on your life and not feel like it’s out of control

My style tends toward young professional, but I’m open to all your styles.