Monday, October 23, 2017

Photo15: Red Noses, Rubber Chickens and Bloody Machetes

Images by Photo15

'There are two types of people in this world. People who hate clowns...and clowns.'
D.J. MacHale, The Quillan Games

Although I love the quote above, I am not sure I completely agree with it. For me, the draw, and the equal or stronger repel of clowns is complex. Like most conflicting and complex emotions, the root stems from our childhood. I remember vividly moving from going from loving clowns to fearing clowns pretty quickly.

Like most little kids, I loved a clown at a fair or party, especially one that made and gave me balloon animals. When I got a bit older, I began to connect that at the circus, clowns were no only responsible for those loud noises, but also diverting our attention from the realities of the show. When an act made a mistake, a circus animal was not co-operating, or a performer stumbled, it was the clown who appeared to try to ensure all that we saw was the magic.

It didn't really work fully though, as the clowns soon became associated with everything negative about the show. This, along with the rise of clowns as murderers and psychopaths in so many movies and TV shows, had clowns moving from starring in childhood fantasy's to become the lead in so many of our childhood nightmares.

I wasn't going to feature clowns this year, but after discovering the work of New York's Photo15, I changed my mind.  Photo15's clowns, like many people's feelings about them, is complex. While some are terrifying and sinister, in other images, the clown make-up couldn't hide the hottness, and a piece of the souls, of the men beneath.

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