Three Asaro Mud Men by Irving Penn (1970)

The photograph titled “Three Asaro Mud Men” is a work captured by the artist Irving Penn in New Guinea, in the year 1970. In this black and white photograph, we see three individuals covered in mud, portraying the Asaro Mudmen from Papua New Guinea. These figures are standing against a nondescript background that does not distract from their striking appearance. Each person is adorned with what appears to be traditional mud masks with exaggerated features, and their bodies are similarly coated. They pose dynamically; two of them brandish long spears, and the one in the center has his arms raised. Their expressions and body language convey a combination of menace and theatricality, typical of the cultural representations the Asaro Mudmen are known for.

Other Photographs from Irving Penn

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