Born in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. Lives in New Orleans, Louisiana and Brooklyn, New York.
Sean Fader is a conceptual artist working in the media of photography, performance, social practice, and the Internet. Sean Fader’s two most recent bodies on work, Best Lives and Insufficient Memory, focus on the presentation of LGBTQIA in media and recorded history. Best Lives is a series of collaborative portraits addressing the messy pleasures and conflicting impulses that characterize the queer uses of digital portrait photography in social media. Insufficient Memory takes the form of a google map documenting every hate crime in the United States from 1999 to 2000, when the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was first being debated in Congress (and not passed). Fader’s earlier project, Backdrop for the Rebirth of the Collective Author was a response to Richard Prince, who reproduced a photograph from Instagram of Fader’s well-known performance piece #wishingpelt for his exhibition at Gagosian.
Sean Fader received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his MA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and his BFA from the New School in New York City. Sean Fader lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he is a Professor of Practice in Photography at Tulane University. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in Dubai, Canada, Mexico and England. His most recent exhibition was Thirst/Trap (2020) at Denny Dimin Gallery in New York. Fader’s previous exhibition history includes Contemporary Performance at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa (2019), On the Map at Denny Dimin Gallery Hong Kong (2019), 365 Profile Pics at the SPRING/BREAK Art show with Denny Dimin Gallery in NYC (2017), Picture Yourself: Selfies, Cellphones, and the Digital Age at the College of Wooster Art Museum (2016), Drama Queer: seducing social change at the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver (2016), and White Boys, curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Natasha L. Logan at Haverford College. Fader was named a NYFA Fellow in 2013 and A Blade of Grass Fellow for 2012-2013, and he received Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Award for Emerging Photographers in 2012. Fader has been awarded prestigious residencies at Art Omi, Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts, and Yaddo. He has received press coverage in British Journal of Photography, MOMUS, Hyperallergic, Art F City, the Huffington Post, and Slate.
Sean Fader discussing his project 365 Profile Pics which was exhibited by Denny Dimin Gallery at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in 2017.
Over 365 days I posted a new profile picture each day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and invited reactions from my community of friends and followers. These profile pictures were created in Photoshop by retouchers from around the world. I hired these professionals via such Websites as Craigslist, Fiverr, and Freelancer, and asked them to digitally create these images for me. I provided each of them with 400 green-screened selfies and directed them to create new profile pics for me that “make me look amazing and my life look awesome.” The retouchers then Photoshopped images of me with images they found on the Internet to digitally construct my profile pics. The altered images have no correlation with my own identity but instead reflect each retoucher’s idea of what I might aspire to be.
— Sean Fader