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Design, for me, often happens in the serendipitous stitches. It’s in the details, the “what a coincidences” – the realization that coincidences don’t really exist. This morning, I stumbled upon the portfolio of portrait photographer Daniel Regan, which led me to the work of another portrait photographer – Paris-based Richard Vantielcke. Which led me to this thoughtful series of self-portraits with an aim to appear invisible and to melt, fading into the background. A series of emptiness.

invisibility self portraits

We’ve all been there, of course. There’s FOMO. And the lonely crowd. And digital voyeurism. And then everything offline – like our entire junior high existence, for example – the same events and circumstances that have been happening far before we were documenting them with words and images and avatars. And I don’t have the solution. I don’t know what to tell someone who feels completely and utterly invisible that there is a door that exists beyond that feeling, and even though the door might be shut today, it’s certainly not locked. And that, tomorrow, it will likely open with a new opportunity – a new morning – and the invisibility cloak will be lifted, hung on a clothesline in the afternoon sun.

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But then I stumbled upon the man who does have the words – Jim Morrison. “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are,” he says. “You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”

invisibility self portraits

So today, if you’re feeling particularly hidden, I wish you a personal revolution. I wish you an open door, a hot shower and a clothesline to hang that wretched cloak upon. Because sometimes, to be seen, we simply have to remove the mask.

Image Credits: Richard Vantielcke

p.s. The mask of the Internet.

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