‘Melting’ Photographs Created by Printing Portraits Using Uncured Ink

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Portland, Maine-based photographer Ben DeHaan has an unique—and slightly disturbing—series of portraits in a project titled “Uncured.” Each of the photographs is shown in two forms: one shows what the image originally looked like, and the other is a portrait that’s “melting.”

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How are they created? Using a run-of-the-mill printer, of course! See, most commercial inkjet printers out there use ultraviolet light to dry the ink printed on a page, which happens to be UV-sensitive (shocker, isn’t it?). That process of allowing the ink to dry — or cure — happens pretty much instantaneously. When you remove the UV light, however, things can get pretty messy.

“When uncured, the ink remains toxic and fluid. I am exploring the use of these printers without their essential element, UV light, in what I like to think of as a new process – UV uncurable inkjet printing perhaps?” says DeHaan.

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An image is captured, printed sans UV light curing, and placed vertically so as to allow the ink to run down the page.

“The images are not digitially manipulated but are rather representations of different moments during the process,” DeHaan continues.

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It gets even cooler. DeHaan has posted psychedelic time lapses of each of the portraits “melting” on his website. You can view those and the rest of the “Uncured” collection on DeHaan’s website.

(via Gizmodo)

Image credits: Images by Ben DeHaan and used with permission.

  • thingwarbler

    That was a neat gimmick for about 10 seconds and one single picture. After that, I kinda missed the point.

  • Mosley Hardy

    Most inkjet printers that photographers will be familiar with are aqueous inkjets which do not require UV light to cure the ink. The majority of sign shops use either solvent or latex printers, which use heat to cure the ink. The UV Curable inkjets that the author mentions are generally found in larger sign shops.

  • harumph

    I love these.

  • Baljit Singh

    Totally silly!

  • Christian DeBaun

    This is what happens when you open The Ark of The Covenant…

  • Mantis

    Art doesn’t always need to have “a point”.

  • thingwarbler

    And cheesy gimmicks aren’t always “art”.

  • Aaron

    Nothing ever makes the cut of being always “art.” Art (and artistry) like beauty (and, for that matter gimmickry), is in the eye of the beholder. Let those that would enjoy it, do so.

  • Burnin Biomass

    Oh lord, these are disturbing. I like em!

  • markelliot

    but why?

  • harumph

    Because it looks cool. Or you could concoct a semi-cryptic art student explanation about exploring the impermanence of art and blah, blah, blah. Either way, it’s legit. Me, I just think it looks cool.