One of the biggest difference between Facebook and Myspace is that while having strangers befriend you on the latter was normal, Facebook is a place for friends only, no strangers allowed. But website Selfless Portraits is breaking down barriers and trying to connect people on Facebook through art.
The art project involves users uploading their Facebook profile onto the website to be hand-drawn by a Facebook user somewhere else in the world. The catch? In order to see your portrait, you have to submit a drawing of a profile picture as well. Profile pictures are randomly assigned, and you are given 48 hours to finish the portrait before it is resubmitted to the pool.
The site was created by strategists Ivan Cash and Jeff Greenspan. Originally, they pitched it to Facebook and while the social media site loved the idea, it did not fit in with current strategies. Cash and Greenspan were encouraged to show it to Facebook partners for potential sponsorship, but all of them passed because Selfless Portraits was deemed too controversial – there was too much potential for people to misuse it or worse, fears that no one would use it at all. Cash and Greenspan then chose to launch the site on their own in mid-February, and have proven the naysayers wrong. Currently, Selfless Portrait has had 12,000 users in over 90 countries uploading more than 8,000 portraits. Says Cash:
We both love how this project encourages people to make a true connection with another human being, even a stranger, through the lens of creativity.
Looking through Selfless Portraits’ gallery is a fascinating view of the range of humanity and artistic skills, bringing a world of seven billion people a little bit closer.
Check out some of the weird and wonderful portraits below: