What happens, when we become desensitised to the countless faces we sweep by each day in our visual feeds? What remains, when a face is distorted or hidden?

Note: I found this four years old, unpublished post. Back then, I had come across a number of images from various sources, featuring these tweaked and half-hidden faces. As the topic still feels relevant, I decided to make some minimal edits and post it.

“It was sharp and abrupt – transparent masks upon the models’ faces leading the way”

– Jessica Bumpus / Vogue, 2013

Male model wearing polka dotted collar shirt, a jacket and a plastic, transparent full face mask

Alexander McQueen A/W 2013 men’s collection. Photograph by Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters.

Portrait of a model whose lower face is covered in chocolate sprinkles looking like bugs

Editorial / portrait by acclaimed photographer Marcel van der Vlugt

“the Netherlands born photographer does things like plop cheese and salmon on the faces of gorgeous models, or completely cover them in mummy-like bandages, crossing the line between fine art and commercial shots”

– Katrina Tan / Trendland, 2011

“Rendered entirely in laminated construction-grade 2 by 4s, the material itself irreverently contradicts this classical allusion, and at the same time draws attention to our own culture’s reliance on the fast, cheap, and impermanent”

– Morgan Herrin / This Is Colossal, 2013

Image of a sculpture, a woman in a classic, upwards gazing head pose with an octopus on covering her face

Detail of Morgan Herrin’s life-sized, pine sculpture “Octopus” 2009.

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us”

René Magritte / Radio interview, 1965

Painting of a man in grey suit, red tie, bowler hat, and a green apple hovering over his face

The Son of Man, by René Magritte. 1964, via Wikipedia.