For her undergraduate project Young and Old, the freshman photographer Kelsey Duff photographed two models: the first is 18, and the second is 65. By excluding her subjects’ faces from her close frame, she catalogs the aging process as it might apply to an everywoman figure; despite trademark tattoos and painted toenails, each woman is stripped of clothing and other common markers of individual identity. Avoiding the impulse to capture moments of conventional portraiture, she shoots isolated sections of each woman with an imaginative fascination, pulling apart the body and fixing each piece within precise borders.
Despite its repetitive and almost anthropological vantage point, Duff’s camera work avoids any sense of coldness or sterility. The choice of warm natural lighting imbues the series with a romance that highlights tone and shadow. As if the subject of a yellow-filled Baroque landscape, the three-dimensional erosion of flesh through stretch marks, scars, pores, and wrinkles are dramatically and reverently seen. Even the clothing change from black skivvies to white underthings reads as part of a years’ old fading process.
The ever-present backdrop of shifting daylight and plain white bed sheets serve to visually condense years into a single dawn or dusk; as Duff follows her visual narrative, the time-lapse between her two subjects flattens, forming a poignantly timeless archive of the evolution of the female body. Caught at two poles of the same lifetime, young and old woman engage in a physical dialogue, exploring beauty and eternity hand-in-hand. Take a look. (via BUST)