Design for the People

Chameleon Self Portrait Project

John-Janell John-Janell | View Portraits

This is part of a self-portrait project entitled Chameleon where I derived my self-identity through the collective perceptions of me through friends and acquaintances. The final effect of these pictures intrigue most viewers as images that "aren't quite right."

First for the project, I had participants write a description of me to a third person and took a 35mm snapshot of each participant. I took those statements and re-wrote them in the first person as if they were auto-biographical statements for the final stage of the project.

The second stage of the project, I painted myself completely white, put myself in front of a white background and projected each participant's image onto myself. With the aid of a hand held mirror and an assistant to snap the picture, I matched my position and expression to the subject's as close as physically possible.

The final stage was printing the images and text together, self-matted, on an 18"x24" print in the darkroom.