This photograph, similar to the 'Helene Panda' photo, was taken in the back garden of the first place I moved into while living in the UK; a shared apartment house with 3 other flatmates in North West London.
When I started working on 'Naked with Masks', the 3 main challenges were finding good masks, locations and models.
Living in London already made shooting nudes outdoors more difficult because of the cold, but it was also difficult to find secluded public spots for the nudity.
When I photographed Abie, I didn't have any locations in mind so again, I used our back tiny garden.
Some of the masks I used were hand-made by mask and prop makers. It was my personal preference, but when I couldn't source such masks, I tried using whatever I can buy in dress-up shops. With Abie, on this cold winter afternoon, we tried a few of those. These masks were all purchased at a dress-up shop in London's Camden called Escapade that since got shut down.
I ended up including a picture with this mask in the main project, taken behind the conservatory window at the entrance back to our apartment.
I also included 3 other photos with 3 different masks, all titled 'Abie'.
Nov 2, 2010. Brondesbury Park, London, UK.
Ben Hopper is a portraitist and conceptual photographer whose projects centre on the human figure. Exploring shame, conflict and human transfiguration, his work gets to the heart of who we are beneath our masks – and why we wear them.
Canon 5D MK II
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
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