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Photos With Scratched Out Faces Are Super-Creepy

These deeply disturbing images will remind you of the fleeting and frail gift that is the warm companionship of others, just as they will haunt your dreams.

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He's the only one in this photo who hasn't found out yet.
Via nl.pinterest.com

He's the only one in this photo who hasn't found out yet.

Whatever she did, it was bad--really bad. And the fact that everybody knew about it for so long made it even worse. For some people, there's really only one satisfactory way of coping with that type of betrayal: REMOVE THE FACE.

Fortunately, one person's suffering is another's opportunity for cheap online self-affirmation. So as you scroll through the unsettling images below, remember to take a moment to reflect--smugly--on how even your most jacked-up relationship is a model of high-functioning adultness compared to whatever went on between these miserable souls.

Also, be sure to enjoy a fresh batch of nightmares constructed around these horrifying fragments of the shattered lives of long dead strangers.

Have you heard from your sisters?What sisters.[Silence]They know what they did--Oh come now...--and--when they're ready to be my sisters again, they can pick up the damn phone and apologize. Until then? Faceless.
Via nl.pinterest.com

Have you heard from your sisters?

What sisters.

[Silence]

They know what they did--

Oh come now...

--and--when they're ready to be my sisters again, they can pick up the damn phone and apologize. Until then? Faceless.

"This is a detail of an unmarked 19th century stereo view of a group...It begs for a story to explain it...Is it perhaps an outing to a public building of some kind? The most striking thing is the face of the woman on the left side of the group. It has been scratched out on both of the images. Who obliterated her and why did they do it? Whenever I see an image like this I wonder why and also wonder if the person who did this also removed her from their life and if they ever regretted it."-- Beverly 20939975@N04
Beverly / Via Flickr: 20939975@N04

"This is a detail of an unmarked 19th century stereo view of a group...It begs for a story to explain it...Is it perhaps an outing to a public building of some kind? The most striking thing is the face of the woman on the left side of the group. It has been scratched out on both of the images. Who obliterated her and why did they do it? Whenever I see an image like this I wonder why and also wonder if the person who did this also removed her from their life and if they ever regretted it."
-- Beverly 20939975@N04

Oh hi, sorry to butt in—just thought I should mention that no--they don't regret it. Not one bit.

She knows what she did.

Reminders

These ghostly relics of emotional torment produced in the wake of some catastrophic interpersonal failure serve an important purpose: They remind us to think twice before defacing our own photo collections in a last-ditch effort to gain control over our broken lives.

For most of us, anyway. Because as it turns out, there is a group of people out there who find in these ghastly faceless images a source of artistic inspiration: artists.

"My mother had taught me that photographs were something precious to be treasured, but to me they were reminders of a time I wanted to forget."-- India Lawton
"Scars" by India Lawton / Via purplewoods.wordpress.com

"My mother had taught me that photographs were something precious to be treasured, but to me they were reminders of a time I wanted to forget."
-- India Lawton

UK artist India Lawton comments on the process of creating images such as the one above:

Through burning, scratching, and stabbing, I was able to let my emotions run loose, to remove and re edit, to take control of something I did not have the strength to do before. I felt more able to take control, and begin to let go. However after the destructive moment had passed, I was left with the crude remains, and a feeling of exhaustion – but with that, a sense of relief.The images are a reminder that no matter how hard I tried, the scars of these memories would always remain in my mind, as they will in these photographs, however now, they are mine to control.

This sounds both therapeutic and highly ineffective at the same time. But maybe that's just the complex set of emotions she hoped to convey in the first place? Or maybe she's just out to ruin our sleep? Art is very subjective that way.

Consider the work of another UK artist, Johnny Briggs, who finds inspiration in old photos of children who still have their faces intact.

"I like to see it as transforming the images, bringing new things to them. So it’s giving to the images, rather than taking things away."-- Johnny Briggs
"Togetherness" by Johnny Briggs / Via wonderlandmagazine.com

"I like to see it as transforming the images, bringing new things to them. So it’s giving to the images, rather than taking things away."
-- Johnny Briggs

Speaking about his work, Johnny Briggs makes an interesting point about how we interpret this type of art.

On the one hand these pieces could be interpreted as being loved, when I carefully cut, scrape or unpick the images, and preserve them in frames, transporting them in bubble wrap and foam. On the other hand these pieces could be seen as being damaged or destructed.

I suppose a third option is that these images are highly targeted dream-destroyers, created to rob us of our precious beauty sleep.

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