The more you look at South-Africa based photographer Anelia Loubser‘s Alienation series, the more captivated you become. A simple idea on the surface — close-up, upside-down black-and-white portraits of people’s eyes and foreheads — the final images encourage you to dive deeper into each wrinkle and other so-called “imperfection” than almost any standard portrait might.
According to Loubser’s description of the series on Behance, Alienation was inspired by a profound Wayne Dyer quote:
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
With creative composition and excellent execution of a simple idea, she manages to put a picture to these words:
The concept reminds us of the famous upside-down drawing exercise. The idea behind this approach was to confuse the analytical left side of the brain, engaging the more abstract right side that would see the lines as they truly were and not as a group of already-defined concepts (i.e. nose, eyes, eyebrows, etc.).
Of course, some will inevitably be tempted to crane their necks or flip their computer screens to reframe the portraits in a more ‘normal’ light, but we hope you won’t do that. As Loubser says, “the work is on the one hand strangely aesthetic, on the other hand mysteriously eerie.” A little bit of discomfort isn’t just normal, it’s encouraged.
Image credits: Photographs by Anelia Loubser, used under Creative Commons license