16/10/12 – Work In Progress: Skull Montage

At the moment I’ve been trying to find ways to distort and manipulate the photograph by slicing, crumpling, ripping the surface of my own self portraits. These processes were inspired by the Starn Twins, two contemporary photographs who reconstruct their own photographs in order to create a different interpretation of the image. I have written about the Starn Twins, please click on the link below for further information,

In preparation for my exhibition in November, I am applying various techniques and processes to my own photographic work. The first attempt involved slicing the photograph into different segments and reconstructing the image with glue. The lines were uneven and I my stanley knife was quite blunt also this process did produce a different effect, I was distracted by the textural surface of the image.

Attempt One 


I was no longer looking at the actual context or subject matter, I was looking at the different squares and segments. In a way, slicing and manipulating the photograph withdraws from the original context of the photograph, in the original image I had used makeup to replicate the Mexican Day of the Dead skulls in order to explore my own interpretations of death. When I view the reconstructed version of the image, all I see is squares, I no longer think about death or mortality, just squares.

I decided to take a photograph of the montage with artificial lighting, the image is very blurred although this particular effect adds a very old, distressed appearance to the photograph.

Attempt Two 

In the second attempt, I had tried to use a similar process, I sliced the photograph into smaller segments or squares and I could not remember where to place them. I had placed numbers on the back but they did not match the image, it was similar to solving a jig saw puzzle. Instead of throwing away the photographs, I decided to apply the different segments onto another photograph. As a result, the squares did manipulate and distort the original image and I was instantly attracted to the textural surface of the photograph.

These processes could be used for the exhibition at the end of the year, the aim is to continue experimenting with my own photographs as much as I can. In comparison to the first attempt, I do appear creepy and even sinister through the actual placement of the photographs, this is quite a different response from the first montage.

I would recommend some of these techniques, try adding water or cello tape to your own photographs, you’ll be surprised how many different effects you can create from a few simple materials.

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