Dennis Ziliotto And The Wet Plate Collodion Clown

Time for a little break from the Plain of Jars Project. I haven’t yet ventured into working with wet plate collodion, a photographic process from the 1800s, but in anticipation I’m a member of two great Facebook groups, one the Wet Plate Collodion Group, and the other, the wonderfully named Collodion Bastards: Wet Plate Work of Questionable Parentage. There is just absolutely stunning work in both, but I came across an image that I can’t stop looking at. Here it is:

Photo Dennis Ziliotto

The only word I can come up with is mesmerizing. It is almost as if the image is so disturbing that I can’t look at it for long, but I keep coming back to it. At one moment the clown is sad, the next threatening, and then the next just looking, with no intent whatsoever. I love that each time I look at it, I get a different impression.


I truly thought it was a man made up with makeup, but as you can see below, I was wrong on both counts.



To see some more great work, take a look at Dennis Ziliotto’s website, here. He’s also on Facebook, here.

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