Artist: Ashkan Honarvar

Because the face is so closely tied to identity, it regularly features in the work of artists looking to engage with this theme, including in relation to corporal fragility and the disruption of identity. One artist who uses collage and digital manipulation to regularly engage with these themes is Ashkan Honarvar, who was born in Iran, raised in the Netherlands, and now lives in Norway. In several series on Faces (1-8) from 2009, he worked in particular with manipulating photographs of WWI soldiers with facial wounds, including recreating wounds digitally using confectionery (Faces 5, below). Some of the images create further interruption to the face by digitally inserting technologies of war (Faces 6), while others carry echoes of the skin flaps used in the surgical procedures in their layering of skin and flesh from other faces (see Faces 1, below). Annabel Osberg sees in Honarvar’s work an overarching fascination with the manner in which, “Tragically vulnerable to injury yet resilient in its ability to heal, the body itself is a living paradox”, which the Faces series certainly engage with. You can read an interview with the artist here, and see the full group of Faces series on his website.


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