My recent work is a collection of simple black and white portraits in which I alter and manipulate the image with its own information in various ways. My manipulation and alteration process are done in both a digital and physical manner. My goal is to help open up a conversation that is still deemed controversial and uncomfortable in our society. The conversation in which I have chosen to present in my work is in relation to anxiety disorder, an incredibly crippling form of mental illness that I suffer from. The issue is not a simple one to discuss and is also a different experience for each individual suffering through it. My work is meant to be an abstracted representation of the struggle. I have centered most of my work around social anxiety and the feeling of there being a constant barrier between yourself and another individual through the use of creating a pattern to obstruct the subject’s face. This may also allude to some sort of personal relationships between viewer and subject.
Through my process, I mainly focus these manipulations on the eyes and mouth of the subject’s face. Those are features we tend to gravitate towards when speaking or getting to know another individual. By doing so, an instant barrier has been created between viewer and subject. The viewer is left there wondering what has happened to the subject. This intensifies the discomfort and anxiousness of the viewer due to facial recognition being taken away. It is impossible to look past the manipulations of the image and the viewer is left with questions and a myriad of strange and complex feelings towards the person in the image.