As I walked down Mulberry Street toward the Openhouse Gallery in the Lower East Side, I was mesmerized by a photograph visible through the glass exterior of the gallery’s storefront. As I gazed at the image of a woman, bare-chested and marked with a large scar along her breast, I was for a moment paralyzed by its implication—so much so that I did not immediately realize that I had, in fact, arrived at my destination.
The SCAR Project, by fashion photographer David Jay, is a powerful exhibition that documents the experiences of young women who have suffered from breast cancer. The series, which began as a coping mechanism for Jay after discovering a close friend—his girlfriend’s identical twin sister—had been diagnosed with the disease, has now transformed into a five-year project devoted to spreading awareness through raw portrait photographs.
The images, which are as extraordinarily beautiful as they are emotive, each magnificently portray an individual and, more importantly, a human story. Whether as a result of their posture or their gaze, the women in Jay’s photographs seem to reveal their relationship to the disease. After only a few minutes in the gallery space, there is no questioning the honesty that radiates from each picture, an honesty that is anything but artificial.
For more details on The SCAR Project, visit www.thescarproject.org.
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