I’ve been playing in photoshop…. Adisi is going to kill me…!!
Researching for the Dreams and Reality project I am drifting in all sorts of directions and still not sure where I will end up going with this one yet…. today I came across the work of Miguel Vallinas – a photographer from Spain.
He has created on ongoing series called ‘Second Skins’ – creating photographs of animals dressed in human attire. They are, says Miguel Vallinas, “Human portraits that reveal the animal within us.”
‘Second Skins’ is a companion piece to his earlier series “Skins”, for which he photographed himself in the attire of various professions, from matador to mechanic, to explore “the inner reality of a man”, the 50-plus photographs that make up “Second Skins” reflect upon the choices we make in our outward appearance, and what they tell the world about our character.
“Our clothes reveal what is locked within us,” Vallinas suggests. “Certain people,” he goes on, “wear certain clothes to differentiate themselves from others. But when they meet people dressed the same way, they form herds. Our clothing is like the fur of animals.”
To create these images, the 42-year-old, from Valladolid in Spain, first photographed volunteer models from various walks of life in his studio. He then shot animals – occasionally pets (for his very first, he used his dog Leo – “he was what I had at hand”) and farm animals, though largely taxidermied ones he found in museums and private collections – and merged the images with those of their human counterparts to “dress” them in the clothes he felt were most befitting to their mien.
These second skins, he continues, “suggest options, possibilities and ultimately choices” of interpretations of our finery that might not be so open to us if they were standard portraits.
Video of Miguel discussing the series:
I find this series initially amusing and intriguing – then you start to think a little deeper about what is going on and what the images say, under the skin so to speak…… The ideology behind the images – with their progression stemming from his original project ‘Skins’ – is very thought provoking and much deeper than it may appear at first glance – all is not what it appears to be…. I love the way Vallinas matches the outfits to the perceived character of the animal. There is a sinister aspect to the images as well – the masks we put on to hide our reality…
All images above taken from Miguel Vallinas website: https://www.miguelvallinas.com/trabajos-anteriores/ultimos-trabajos/segundas-pieles/
This is by no means a new concept – there are multiple (good and bad) versions created by photographers and artists alike ; commercial products have been created using this style – one of my old ecommerce website suppliers being one of them – I think this is why it is familiar to me & drew me in, in the first place…
I have done a rough attempt to try to re-produce the effect, using some pre-taken shots of my own in photoshop. I can see it is extremely difficult to get the detail completely correct and the proportions right (which I have not..). It involves a lot of work in photoshop to make it look believable…
I think Adisi will be so pleased with my initial attempt….. :-)) x