Maria Francesca Melis’ unique style of self-portraiture is filled with unexpected surprises. In her series, Variable Face, the 22-year-old artist hides behind all kinds of everyday objects, using everything from bananas and bunches of grapes to dead fish. She documented herself in a wide range of backdrops and the beautiful results are a surprising blend of portraiture and still life.
The project began when the Italy-based artist’s sister went back to London after a summer break. In her sadness, Melis photographed a bunch of flowers in front of her face. As a result of that one single image, the project began to grow and has since developed into this extensive series. Although the portraits have a touch of playfulness to them, her lack of smile produces a sensation of sadness. Without any facial features to connect to, viewers are left to investigate the surrounding scenery and the varying wardrobes in an attempt to make connections between the artist and her selected objects.