Size: 23.4 H x 33.1 W in
Here is a collection of photographs that explore the idea of hidden identity. The main theme stems from this idea of how people used masks and masquerade balls to hide their identity, which is an interesting aspect that is projected within this imagery. The element of distraction comes from this idea of beauty of the mask distracts the viewer from accessing the true identity of person behind the mask.
An important aspect of this project was the some details into the images such as the angles used, the place the image is taken and the masks used. The masks themselves are one of the most important parts of the images because the mask must contain the correct amount of shape, colour and detail to become big enough distraction, which is achieved within the imagery. Each image produced help to draw the viewer and every image becomes more surreal and interesting. The use of lighting is very important with the images that are produced, the lighting needs to show both highlights of the masks and reflect the beauty that they contain and also show the shadows and add atmosphere to the imagery. In each and every photograph that was produced used a combination of imagery to almost produce a photomontage there is a collection of masks in each image to help add even more distraction to the viewer and also makes a more complex photograph.
To make these images very surreal the idea of lost and hidden identity is only one part that makes these images surreal. Another element that has been used is the background or the place that the photographs were taken. This was a very important aspect to consider as this will make the image even stronger and surreal. The background or set had many possibilities and was considered throughout this project, places such as theatres and ballrooms to link back to this idea of the performance and masquerade ball. However this was too predictable and there needed to be a conflict between the masks and the location it was shot on so the background used was inside a factory unit. This created a contradiction between both the background and the mask and it is this that made the images even stronger.
The factory unit enabled the masks to hide and involve the audience in the images. There is almost a game created between the viewer and the person behind the mask, which adds this surreal impact that the project needed. It was important to look at both a range of historical and contemporary artworks both paintings and photographers. The historical side is to link back to this element of masquerade ball and the contemporary side to look at more surreal artists such as Cindy Sherman and Hannah Hoch.
Keywords: playful, surrealism, contrast, distraction, hidden, identity, masks