In Oleg's collection, 'Toy Story', portraits of children in masks and head-wear are accompanied by the phrase, "WE ALL PLAY THE GOOD GUYS AS KIDS, BUT FAR FROM ALL OF US GROW UP TO BE GOOD, UPSTANDING PEOPLE". With such a powerful message in the form of written word, it immediately made the photos easily understandable. I didn't feel that this made the work "easy" to read, it just made it more identifiable and gave the artist more of a 'face' in the work. It made me want to know what else he's produced, what are his other points of view and why does he choose to work this way. It may have only produced more questions but I don't feel that is a negative point.
Recently engaging in written word incorporation, I enjoyed finding this connection in a successful contemporary artist's work.
Cheburashka 2. 2011 - Help Japan
After researching more about Oleg Dou and his reason for pursuing these eclectic and bizarre portraits, I found this in his recent artist statement:
"I have been creating different designs for many years. And I started photography in 2005 to mix it with design.
The “Naked Faces” project is devoted to relationship between human’s inner world with human’s behaviour in society. The society still restricts behaviour and thought of a human being.
This project is a kind of a protest that is to show that a person should remain who he is and that people should perceive him in the way he is. The persons presented in my works lack individuality: the eyebrows and the eyelashes are removed, the skin is smoothed. " - Oleg Dou
I couldn't believe how similar this concept was to my "Reflection of Self and Societal Image" portraits (Exhibited at Art Of Norwich 21, Church of Art, March 2012) and my other affiliated works. I now feel a bit more comfortable and less scared about what I've produced and decided to display for Degree Show!