un·mask: (v) expose the true character of or hidden truth about

This project is a photographic exploration of the psychological spaces that many of us sometimes inhabit, from calm to unsettled, due to the increasingly complicated world we must grapple with.

The subjects in the photographs are contacted via social media or through acquaintances, and invited to collaborate on the project. The resulting images are created by working blind in a completely dark studio. While the subjects re-imagine emotional periods from their lives, light is poured by hand, as if using a paint brush, to illuminate and paint them. 

Each image is made as a single exposure, often over 20 minutes long, combining evolving emotional states into a single moment, suggesting a metaphor for how we transform psychologically over time. This process enables chance to play a role in the collusion of darkness and light to unmask our internal states onto the subjects’ likenesses. Only afterwards can we see where the process led, often resulting in the discovery of unanticipated images.

The image titles are created using artificial intelligence to reflect the increasing complexity of our world. The AI algorithm looks at the final image, and develops a prose poem to share its impression of the photograph.