This Photographer Will Blow You Away
Published 14 January 2013
Skin flapping. Lips twisted. Teeth bared. Hair askew. No, it's not the "zombie apocalypse," just one of the latest projects by 29-year-old Lithuanian photographer Tadao Cern. Cern, who lives in the capital, Vilnius, is attracting a lot of attention for a series of photographs that he calls "Blow Job," in which he shoots air at high speed into people's faces and documents their contorted features. He says it's like sticking your head out of the window of a car that's doing 300 kilometers per hour. The photos are funny, weird, and a little disturbing. (See them below.)
As Cern says, the photos don't have any hidden meanings. "It was meant to give some good laughter to the viewers and participants," he says. "It turned out to be more than I expected and that is why I like what I do today -- every day is full of pleasant surprises."
Cern believes the project became such a hit because of its aesthetic approach. "There were other photographers who have tried the same thing, but mine attracted so many viewers because of its clean and simple style," he says. "They are bright...and make you laugh, not just because they look funny but also because the people in these pictures look like they're laughing, too."
Cern says he's learned one thing from "Blow Job": Keep it simple. "Everyone knows it," he says, "but I had to experience it on my own to believe in it."
Speaking of a simple concept, a haunting portrait taken by Cern also went viral recently. In the work, Cern re-creates Vincent Van Gogh's famous self-portrait of 1889 using a live model, period clothing, and a bit of digital retouching. (You can see the Van Gogh photo at the end of the gallery below.)
Cern has a master's degree in architecture but decided to try something new -- in his case, photography. "My suggestion for other people -- and not only for the artist -- is don't be afraid to change something in your life," he says. "It may cost you much, but eventually it'll pay off and it'll be worth taking the risk. You'll learn a lot, you'll be proud of yourself, and finally you won't feel the guilt for wasting your life." (13 photos)
This iconic self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, dates to 1889.
Photographer Tadao Cern used a friend as a model for this photographic re-creation of Van Gogh's masterpiece. He asked a stylist to find period clothing and used a bit of digital retouching to complete the effect.