In his latest series, “I Have Something To Tell You”, Adrain Chesser uses his own illness, AIDS, in order to catalogue the pure, raw emotional reactions of his friends and family as they are told the terrible news . The Florida-born photographer, snapped portraits of his loved ones moments after he shared this life-changing information.
“When I thought about having to disclose my illness to my friends I would panic, which didn’t make sense, because I have an amazing group of friends who are all very loving and supportive”
Filled with a series of genuine reactions ranging from shock to panic to sadness, Chesser’s loved ones do not hold back. The beauty of this project relies on these subjects’ faces- most which reveal intense, unfiltered emotion. Chesser had long used photography as a method of interpreting and understanding his own emotional life– a “spiritual practice”, he calls it in a interview with Huffpost. The images, past and present, served him as tangible memories that later aide him to further understand past mistakes, or hidden victories. In this case, Chesser uses the camera as a mediator-a placeholder between two entities that feel broken, yet bonded by a painful experience.
Chesser believes that the diverse reactions of the 46 different people he photographed (without their prior knowledge of the project) reflect each individual’s personal experience with death and illness. He remembers everything from tears, to laughter, stoicism and confusion after confessing his diagnosis. (via HuffPost Arts)