Phenotype

This series of self-portraits investigates my experience of looking and feeling ethnically "other". From a young age, I have been posed with the question of "What are you?" This question caused me confusion, curiosity, and pain and with it grew a wonder of how looking different (more or less Norwegian, Lebanese, or Jewish) would change my life. I wanted to know how it would feel to see a different me.

I approached the transformative process by referencing ancestral family photos, my ethnic heritage, and researching scientific lists of recessive and dominant genes. Through the application of make-up, wigs, and Photoshop I altered my appearance again and again, each time with different combinations of possible physical attributes. The process of reimagining my appearance created an altered sense of identity and mindset. During the transforming, photographing, and editing of this work more questions about self arose: “Who is this woman?”, “How is her life different from mine?”, and “What ethnic group does she identify with?” The deep connection between our appearance, heritage, and identity emerged as the overlying theme for this body of work.

Phenotype 1

Phenotype 11

Phenotype 4

Phenotype 3

Phenotype 4

Phenotype 10

Phenotype 22

Phenotype 17

Phenotype 15

Phenotype 5

Phenotype 9

Phenotype 13

Phenotype 16

Phenotype 18

Phenotype 14

Phenotype 7

Phenotype 21

Phenotype 6

Phenotype 12

Phenotype 20

Phenotype 19

Phenotype 8

Morgan DeLuna © 2018
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