When an anonymous hater posted Conor Collins a bigoted letter about his paintings, he responded in the best way possible – he took them to school.
The letter, which calls the artist “immoral and corrupt”, features a whole bunch of spelling and grammatical errors, and Conor rejoiced in offering his own brand of constructive criticism… Before posting the results on Twitter of course.
We caught up with Conor to see what he made of the letter…
How did you feel when you first got it? At first I was a little baffled but then after I felt oddly happy. I can’t remember who it was who said it but I was told that the more hate messages you are getting, the more likely you are doing something that is making change. So my first postal hate mail felt like a healthy progression.
Does your art usually attract negative reactions from religious zealots like this? Yeah, hate tweets normally spike after one of my paintings goes viral. However when you click the profiles of these people you see they’ve not only sent you a hate message, but about 15 other people in the last 5 minutes. These people just seem to spend their time online trying to drag others down.
What made you want to post it online? Well when I read it the first time I didn’t really think much of it. However when I read it again I noticed it was actually oddly funny. I decided if I binned it no one would believe me how ridiculous it was… so I just had to tweet it.
Does this kind of thing just motivate you more? Oh yes without a doubt. Might even paint over it sometime and use it as a base.
Conor gained notoriety when he began creating portraits of LGBT celebrities, turning online hate and threats into pieces of art. His work so far has included out gay diver Tom Daley and transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner.
My finished portrait of @tomdaley1994 made out of the homophobic tweets sent to him when he came out as in a relationship with a man #art #arty #tomdaley #tomdaley1994 #diver #olympics #gay #gallery #homophobia #workofart #wordpainting #uk #greatbritain #unionjack #image #instaart #instagood #instagramart #painting #portrait #picoftheday #canvas