In his long-running portrait series Second Skins, artist Miguel Vallinas (previously) uses photographic portraits of wildlife as a starting point to construct fictional wardrobes that he imagines each animal might wear if it were dressed as a human. Vallinas has an uncanny ability to select the perfect colors and textures for each outfit he photographs, bestowing the animals with a clear sense of character and an unusual authenticity.
On the surface, Second Skins is a humorous series of portraits guaranteed for a smile, but dig a bit deeper and Vallinas suggests the images reveal a more about human nature than the animal kingdom. Specifically, how we perceive people based on appearance and how we create narratives in our mind based wholly on what we see. Vallinas says he is also examining elements of self-perception, specifically “what we believe we are, what others think we are, what we really are, and what we would like to be.”
For his latest body of work titled Roots, Vallinas again explores identity through similarly dressed boquets of flowers or plants matched with remarkably fitting attire. You can see much more on his website.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!