PDN Photo of the Day

The Imagination of José Picayo and You

We’ve all done it: Walked down the street and seen somebody from the back and thought it was somebody you knew, or wanted to believe it was that person you met briefly, the one whose character and face stuck with you. By pairing images of the backs of models’ heads with images of their faces, photographer José Picayo explores these mysteries of human perception and interaction in a new body of work on display at Robin Rice Gallery through November 1, 2015.

Picayo “relates these photographs to his own experience walking in the streets of the city, imagining the front of the strangers he walks behind,” notes the gallery in a statement about the show. Inside the gallery, the paired portraits are hung on opposite walls, mimicking an on-the-street experience of first seeing a person from behind, forming expectations of who that person is and what he looks like, and then seeking out the reality of the situation. Using 8×10 Polaroid film to evoke a timeless feel, Picayo’s images infer that this habit of human nature to mentally complete an incomplete image is shared across centuries.

—Sarah Stacke

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