Symbolic Mutation by Jerry Uelsmann (1961)

The photograph “Symbolic Mutation” by Jerry Uelsmann from the year 1961 is a surreal black and white image that appears to blend the features of a human hand with a human face. The composition skillfully merges the texture and contours of a large hand with the delicate details of a face, creating an optical illusion where fingers morph into facial features and vice versa.

In the photograph, we can observe a close-up of a large hand cradling a human face. The face is resting on the palm and is predominantly aligned with the fingers. The index finger and the thumb are positioned on both sides of the face, encasing it gently. The surreal melding of the two forms is striking, as fingertips seamlessly transition into parts of the face, particularly the nose and forehead, suggesting a synthesis of human elements and blurring the line between the different body parts. The use of light and shadow enhances the texture and depth, imbuing the image with a dreamlike quality that is characteristic of Uelsmann’s work.

Other Photographs from Jerry Uelsmann

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