Boston-based photographer Stephen Sheffield tells unusual visual stories with these self portraits of himself wearing a suit and hat. In each scene, he puts a strange, and subtly funny, twist on everyday events like climbing a ladder or holding his son in his arms. He says he uses himself as the muse in his photographs to explore the “realities and surrealities of being a man,” and his distinct apparel is purposefully chosen in order to provide a sense of anonymity.
Sheffield’s surreal series of photographs is reminiscent of early 1900s gangsters, who always looked great in a nice suit and hat, even when up to no good or documented in a mug shot upon criminal arrest. The artist says, “My work over the years has consistently circled around the issues, fears, frustrations, confusion, and joys of manhood. What does it mean to be a man: in history, in the present, in the future?” By juxtaposing everyday scenarios with unexpected details, Sheffield consistently surprises his viewers and leaves us in a pleasant and entertaining state of confusion.