Masked Identity

Hot Pink Penis


Growing up, I was never the kid that wanted to fit it with the girls. I liked wearing dresses and putting on make-up but I also wanted to be tough and mean and rowdy. My mother always told me that I could do anything I wanted so it never occurred to me that those same dresses and some lipstick would impede me from being tough. Then I got older and realized that the girls that wore dresses didn't want to play in the dirt and the girls that were rowdy and tough didn't want to wear dresses— I was confused. 

I've been compared to the likes of men plenty of times, because personality, my promiscuity, my fear of commitment, my meanness. When I was in high school people thought in very black or white terms.
A girl can't sit with her legs open.
A girl can't date a lot of guys.
A girl can't not give a shit.

I've always felt in between. Not quite girly enough and obviously not manly enough. As I get older, it gets easier to stand up for myself and this masked identity is exactly that. It represents the fusion of male and female through the dichotomy of clothing, pictured wearing a dress paired with men's sneakers and inversely, wearing men's clothing with high heels. The apple is supposed to signify the feeling of sin that others forced on me for being masculine. Images were shot at night in various lighting to signify the varying degrees of ease with which I experienced either genders and as a result, the more masculine photo is darkest.


There is much symbolism within each photograph as much as each photograph is a symbol within itself. There are three sets of three photographs and one last image that stands alone. Each set is edited with a color overlay to invoke its respective position in the series as each set is meant to visually show a different aspect of my mixed gender persona. I use the stereotypical designation of pink and blue as female and male colors respectively, in the same way as I used hot pink for the penis, to highlight the social element that is most important in my storytelling.

The apple is incorporated with the addition of a social media "like" box to further point out the involvement of the society that surrounded me. Since the apple represents the sin that others imposed on me for my desire to act outside of their norms, the social media box points to that "social" aspect.



Produce a photograph or video that visually communicates an individual identity. The first part of the assignment asks students to develop an idea by completing a series of research exercises for conceptual development. Next, the student will design and construct a sculpture that fits over their head, concealing the face. The sculpture will be featured in  a series of photos or a video. Aspects such as body pose, clothing and at least one prop will be given careful consideration for inclusion so as to enhance the concept. At least three (3) digital photographs are required. Video length must be at least 1 minute. 

Expose students to contemporary artists and historical references regarding symbolism. Challenge the student to observe and analyze elements and principles. Expose students to an in-depth research processes that provide opportunity for the development of an idea that challenges student to conceive and execute in multiple processes. 



3' H x 2' W



Tracing paper

Gel medium & water

Spray paint








First Attempt: