ARTICLES

Obscured Face Photography

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Photography has its trends and I believe this to be one of them, but it doesn’t seem to want to die in certain circles. It’s a fashion that I’ve unanimously (out of a survey selection of 1 or less people) decided to label as unoriginal and the result of lazy hacks within the world.

This trend is the act of taking a portrait photo of somebody, and defacing or obscuring the face of that person in some way. Usually by painting over it, attacking it with a scalpel, building some sort of paper Eiffel tower over it or covering it in jam and allowing a flock of passing bees to gradually build a home in its place.

What we have is the fine art personification of the board game “Guess Who?” and everybody is doing it. Pretending there is some deeper meaning hidden behind as we explore questions of identity as we appropriate a deeper meaning from the very first artist who ever did this to a portrait.

This effect is easy to achieve too, you may have never picked up a camera in your life, you can just riffle through the back catalogue of Vogue magazine for hundreds of choices of people to remove their faces from. As a fun game with the off-cuts to this project, maybe you can paste the left-over faces onto the bodies of John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and remake your own YouTube special version of the movie Face-Off.

On second thoughts, after reading this article to myself, it really comes off as bitter and rage filled rather than the aim of cute and funny. How did I do? What are your feelings on the subject? Have you or your friends ever had your faces stolen or swapped? We’d love to hear more about it, be sure to write in and tell us more of your experiences. I’d love to exploit your personal experiences for financial gain.

In short, it’s alright not to get art sometimes. Sometimes it has no meaning. Sometimes the artist really is taking the piss.