The aging process is not often welcomed with open arms. As we get older, we tend to ignore certain birthdays, cover the gray in our hair, and buy skin creams to eliminate wrinkles. Photographer Bobby Neel Adams confronts these natural concepts of aging, circumstance, and visual transformations of the human body in many of his projects.
Specifically, AgeMaps demands a certain attention to the passage of time. The project leaves the viewer with an uncomfortable sensation of a certain lingering mortality. For each piece, he takes two photographs of the same person from different times in their life, prints them at the same proportions, and splices them together by hand. This process, which he has dubbed “photo-surgery,” results in one unique representation of each person across decades. “The point at which the images are physically torn together becomes the boundary line (or bridge) between decades of passing time,” Adams explains, “To me they provide an eerie life-map, staring towards our future.”