One of us by Giacomo Favilla

We recently did an origami competition for an event at work. It got me thinking about my origami photography series Origami Me and I wondered what other photographers had done with this beautiful art form.

After some short research I found One of us, a project by Italian Photographer Giacomo Favilla

“They are like one of us. Or rather, we aspire to be like them.”

Origami mask by Francesca Lombardi.
Puma Origami mask folded by Francesca Lombardi, designed by Roman Diaz

Humans and animals become like one in this surreal series. With the perfect blend between reality and fantasy the masked portraits are both magical and realistic, almost like a dream.

‘One of us’ is an exclamation. The same words the Freaks sang in the 1930s cult movie that challenged the concept of normality. In a scene of the film it’s the monsters who accept a “normal” person as one of theirs, in a world turned upside down – in which not only are the physical idiosyncrasies of the circus characters normal, but they hide a good nature that seems to contradict their monstrous aspect.

Absorbed in the black and white atmosphere they appear to tell us that there’s no difference between man and animal, they are like us, in a mythology that blends our world with theirs and stimulates our thinking, by declaring that we’re on the same level.

– One of us exhibition text extract

The choice to use harsh lighting and edit in black and white was a good decision, it really emphasises the folds and edges of the paper masks.

Knowing the context of the project definitely enhances this series, taking away human identity to show that animals/beasts and us are equals is a powerful statement and one that I wholly support.