Exploring Dallas has its own rewards. But if you follow Mattson Plummer on Instagram, it could also lead to a piece of unique art.
Plummer, 37, is a freelance food-styling assistant who has lived in Oak Cliff for 12 years. About four years ago, he started #headhuntdallas, wherein he creates funny faces out of plywood and spray paint, then hides them around Dallas. Plummer gives clues to their locations on his Instagram account, and whoever finds them, keeps them.
Usually, they’re claimed within an hour, he says. The finders can tag him or use the hashtag in their own insta posts. Sometimes, they don’t.
“I’m hiding them and letting them go,” Plummer says. “It’s nice when people share, but I’m not worked up if they don’t.”
The hiding places tend to be natural areas and parks that people might not otherwise visit.
“I usually try to pick an interesting landmark or a nice place to walk around,” he says. “That way if you’re not the first one there, you won’t mind because it’s a cool spot to walk around.”
A few times he’s gained attention from groups of middle-school age boys who compete and collaborate to find the heads. Families often go out and find them together.
Once, a woman arrived first but didn’t find the head until another Instagram follower came along and pointed it out.
“He said, ‘You were here first, so you can have it,’ ” Plummer says. “But then I gave the other person a free one.”
Plummer got the idea to give away art when he saw another artist on Instagram pin a drawing to a coffee shop wall for someone else to find. He’s taken that idea and made it his own.
“As a pastime I like to go explore the city,” Plummer says. “Get outside and do stuff that’s off the beaten path. Walk around in creeks. I like to be outside.”
After Instagram changed its feed from chronological to algorithmic in June 2018, it put a bit of a damper on the head hunt because fewer people see posts the day they’re uploaded. He doesn’t do as many, but he’s still putting plenty of artwork out there for the taking.
“Whenever I have some art to give away, it’s fun to go find a place to hide it,” he says.
Follow Mattson Plummer at @mattsonmattsonmattson and #headhuntdallas.