World of One: Feeling Numb

Feeling Numb

Feeling Numb

Image size (HxW): 24” x 49 1/8” | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 49 1/8” | Edn 5

I shot Feeling Numb on a suggestion from my old friend Lisa Diep. “I want one side that’s feeling! And the other side, that’s numbness!!!” She told me. Lisa’s and I have known each other since high school, so she occasionally likes to pretend she’s my art director. At first I thought this was another throw away idea. But the more I thought about it, the more appealing it seemed to me. The problem I told her, wasn’t the “numbness” part. But rather, how to visually convey a sense of “feeling.”

Last year I went through what was probably the worst break up of my life. As a result, I produced very little work (maybe like 3 pieces) because I was too busy crying my eyes out. For the first 6 months of the year, I was mostly a complete emotional mess. In the 6 months that followed, I didn’t really want to feel feelings anymore, or at least for long enough for me to stop spontaneously bursting into tears.

I wasn’t thinking about this when I first set out to shoot Feeling Numb. But seeing the image now, I feel like it illustrates this post-breakup experience. The figures in the black shivering in the cold, to me, represents the overpowering chaos of emotion. Meanwhile the shirtless figure making his kung fu poses, seems like he has reached a state where he has become numb to the cold, and is no longer affected by the chaos around him.

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