Newsfeeds of social networks are flooded with family photos, travel snapshots and selfies. In this mass of images, the thing that protrudes are the portraits from personal advertisement sites, where the faces of people are hidden. Forced to act like models on sites with high traffic and huge number of page views, the sellers are trying to maintain anonymity. I started working with photographs in adverts where the owners of ads ignored the automatic face blurring provided in mobile applications and were using different variations and styles instead. In applying masks, I drew on the colours and forms that the authors themselves preferred. I followed the creative ideas of these individuals, making and forming for them a non-virtual shell. Photographs of things for sale in conjunction with all kinds of materials for stitching thus returned from the digital to the material sphere, acquiring new associations and meanings. For me, such sketching on the faces turned into a sort of masks which, like in ancient times, allow people to hide their identity or present themselves in a new way.
Elena Chikhichina (1978) is a Moscow based photographer. She has studied documentary photography and photojournalism at School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc in Saint-Petersburg.