Awkward, Strangely Romantic Photos of a Photographer Throwing Herself at Men

Los Angeles artist Lilly McElroy throws herself at men. It’s not as scandalous as it sounds. “I make work about the desire to form connections with others and how difficult it can sometimes be to actually do that. For the I Throw Myself at Men series I was thinking about romantic connections and how awkward, painful, and wonderful it can be to try and form an attachment to another person,” she explained to Huffington Post (via Juxtapoz). “I am, at the moment, part projectile and part foolish romantic,” she told Beautiful/Decay. “These images are documents of a hopeful and violent gesture, a demand that the possibility of a connection exist. The men often look terrified or at least slightly surprised. My role as aggressor is clear and I think my leaps acknowledge the basic human desire for contact.” When she sets up the shot in a public space, only three people know what is about to happen: the bartender, the photographer, and the man she is throwing herself at. “The camera is never hidden, though.” The project started life on Craigslist, where McElroy placed an ad looking to meet with blind dates to engage in the throwing/catching act. “There is obviously a strong feminist component to this project and that read is very important to me. Mostly though, I’m interested in talking about how human that desire for connection is,” she concludes. Embrace the awkward and intense connections McElroy makes with strangers in bars, below.

Photo credit: Lilly McElroy
Photo credit: Lilly McElroy