Being somebody else (revisited)

Back in 2014 I made my first blog post on the subject of “Being somebody else”.

It’s time to pull a few images on this theme together. To paraphrase what the original post said…

These are self portraits so this is me and only me, but at the same time I am none of the people you see in these images. I have total respect for the people who through choice or because of the way they are born find their lifestyles reflected here. This is me giving free range to my creativity, with frankness and hopefully with a little humour – these images do not represent fantasies of what I want to be or do other than in a little act for the camera. They are meant to be provocative, even confrontational.

I am a fan of other artists, often introverts like me, who put themselves out there “being somebody else” seemingly all of the time. Because they are known for it they usually have the confidence not to have to write the preceding paragraph. These are my efforts to be somebody else too.

Hotel room – single occupancy
The audition
In his dreams
A naturist tiff
War and peace
Now back to the routine (from my original post)


Being somebody else

Now back to the routine (2007)

I have this thing about people who take things at face value, politicians thrive at exploiting them, as do the tabloids. They are often intolerant of people who are different and ideas or art they perceive as a threat to them and their insular lives.

I have always admired artists who have the confidence to confront such people, to know they are going to draw simple judgement. They exploit them too – Madonna thumbs a lift naked by the highway for the benefit of her photographer is rather different to Tracy Emin dealing with her demons by spreading her legs in her self portrait sketches. But both are examples of creators with the self confidence to know that they are going to win over people, quite accepting that  they will disgust many judgmental people.

People are not born with an aversion to creativity. Their views are the product of their childhood and the cause goes back generations. Slowly, as they discover that it is in fact they who are different, perhaps through their shocked reaction to people, art or events that other people not only accept, but appear to enjoy, some change. And their children, learning more from exposure to the world through their friends and the internet, change too.

There is only one person in this image. It is a construction from a previous shoot assembled in 2007. I should consider setting up shoots specifically to construct such images but this arose very much after the event, a benefit of a mischievous mind and interval shooting with a digital camera.

This image is in no small part exists because of people who once were judgmental of me. There – see how I turned out – you were right! (Not!)

Most of the people who created the person in me that makes these images are half a lifetime or more away now. They will probably never see my photos, and if they do it will all probably go way over their heads. So again they will actually be wrong.