In the photo series “Strangers,” artist Pelle Cass creates bizarre composite portraits by assembling many closeup photos of person’s face into a singular image. As Cass photographs his subjects he alters his angle and distance. He also encourages his subjects to make a variety of expressions. Thus the composite portraits may depict a smiling mouth, a frowning right eye, a nose that is larger on one side than the other, and so on. For more on the project, see this post on Cass’ blog. We recently posted about another Pelle Cass photo composite project, “Selected People.”
It’s amazing that a quarter of an inch here, a quarter of an inch there can change a face so much. At first glance, the faces seem normal enough, then it dawns on you that something is off. I want it to be just wrong enough. This dawning surprise is important to me, one of the sensations I value most in art.
Cass’ animated self-portrait provides a glimpse at the process behind “Strangers.”