Taking myself out of the picture (TMOOP), 2019 - Until Death

Taking myself out of the picture (TMOOP) is a series of digitally altered images Southworth creates from his official work portrait as a senior photo retoucher. Both playful and macabre, he looks for a moment that begins to meld figuration with abstraction.

He personally retouched the original image for his freelance job’s website, which is an oddly metaphysical experience to zoom in on one’s face and stamp out ‘imperfections’. In a dark turn, it became the last professional photograph of Southworth before getting skin cancer on his face at the age of 40. This body of work also began the year the artist’s Father was diagnosed with a terminal disease. Southworth  wanted to truly own this potential ‘last image’ and has since obtained copyright from the photographer. 

‘Taking myself out of the picture’ is an ongoing series that will only end when the artist dies or until he turns 77, the average lifespan of a male in America. Each year Southworth only creates the exact number of images of his current age. On the four year anniversary of the first portrait a new one will be captured and edited the next four years to document the aging process. In many ways it is a degenerative series, which could potentially show the decline of his own skills and grasp over the years.