Ah, the old ‘squash your face up against the glass technique’ …. but photographer Rut Mackel’s series The Ugly Truth gives an old idea some fresh impetus
Mackel says that the idea of the project was to explore how our perceptions of someone change when their face is disfigured or distorted. And how the subjects themselves react to seeing their new selves.
To create the images, she simply asked her models to hold a framed piece of glass against their faces and shot through it.
Perhaps it’s the choice of subject and the fact that the models themselves are helping to create the images that give this series an interesting, er, twist. Of course, people have been squashing their faces against glass for comedic effect for about as long as glass has existed. And photographers have used the technique many times before (here’s a nice series from Neil Bedford, for example) – it’s very much a student project staple.
Still, to our mind, by far the best use of the technique has to be Close Contact, the astonishing series of images created by Jenny Saville and Glen Luchford in 1995. But Mackel, who is based in London and who has been a freelance photographer since 2010, has a different take on the idea, producing a fun, at times slightly disturbing series of pictures. You can see more of her work here.
More face squashing fun:
CR in Print
The January issue of Creative Review is all about the Money – well, almost. What do you earn? Is everyone else getting more? Do you charge enough for your work? How much would it cost to set up on your own? Is there a better way of getting paid? These and many more questions are addressed in January’s CR.
But if money’s not your thing, there’s plenty more in the issue: interviews with photographer Alexander James, designer Mirko Borsche and Professor Neville Brody. Plus, Rick Poynor on Anarchy magazine, the influence of the atomic age on comic books, Paul Belford’s art direction column, Daniel Benneworth-Gray’s This Designer’s Life column and Gordon Comstock on the collected memos, letters and assorted writings of legendary adman David Ogilvy.
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.