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003 (from the series Blanc)

Artist: Joseph Mougel (American)
Date: 2005
Medium: pigment print
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Gift of Joyce Neimanas, 2010
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2010.19.2
Blanc 004 is one of a series of 50 portraits of individuals, often minorities, dressed in camouflage and "white-washed." Like military camouflage, the whiteness serves as a different sort of concealment. Here the artist explains the ideas behind his series Blanc (French for "white"): "My interest in camouflage stems from my service in the military. As a former Marine, ideas of conformity and identity within the tactics and politics of the military continually filter into my artistic practice. Blanc revisits the act of transformation I encountered as a new recruit. With these images I physically remove each individual's identity with painted uniforms, makeup, and lighting. This stripping of identity forms a void that awaits a new definition. The models for Blanc have never served in the armed forces, but they are between 18 and 25 years old, the age most sought after for recruitment. In these moments before the unknown, their naiveté contributes to an unsuspecting stare out into the distance as they wait in a state of readiness." --Joseph Mougel
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