Monday, May 25, 2009

Strange new project

This is going to sound weird, but I have become interested in a new project inspired by a Tweet from my associate, Juan Thomassie. He sent me the URL of a creepy little website from They keep an archive of mug shots of those unfortunate enough to have been recently arrested. The archive is sortable by a number of ways. But one of the most interesting is by age. What I felt was so compelling was how the faces of people changed over time. The older the arrested became, the more their lifestyles seem to have physical effects on their faces.

Their features seem to become twisted. Over sized eyes, twisted noses and faces that seem to be contorted from top to bottom. For some reason I feel compelled to record these anomalies. I think it begs the question, "Do our choices and actions have a bearing on our physical appearance?"

This first entry is a portrait based on the mug shot of Daniel. Booked on May 13, 2009 for a sexual predator violation.


Linda said...

OK -- that's a cool new project!

Terry Murray said...

Interesting project Chuck - but creepy.

Anonymous said...

I was very shocked when I was doing a goggle of family members to seen my brothers mugshot as one of your painting. I am trying to understand the project, but don't understand why you have to use their real names. As a family member of this person Tom De Hass I am very embarrest.

Norrie said...

Hi interesting idea, I came across a facebook page 'lost photographs' the sort you take in a booth mostly.No name or details apart from where they were found, completly anoymous. I started to draw one of an older man and found myself building a life in my head for a guy I had never met. Made me feel quite uncomfortable for some reason and I had to stop. Good luck with your project.

Catherine Vines said...

I've had the same impulse - and does our state ever have mug shots, especially the stupid criminal kind! Interesting thought that they might be "doing the time" in their faces as well.

Anonymous said...

I love this project. I have an interest in how our experiences and attitudes write their indelible impressions on our faces through the lines we get as time passes. Does she have more smile lines, frown lines? This makes portraits very interesting to me, as I do them I feel like I get to know the weight of certain feelings in that person's past. Which is why I'm not a fan of glamor style portraits of plastic/botoxed faces and layers of makeup, all to ram a phony impression of that person into the viewer's consciousness. Makes me sad.