Straight from the pages of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Los Angeles based photographer Krocky Meshkin is a head hunter of sorts. His photo series “Headless Sightings” channels Anne Boleyn in the busy streets of L.A. as he relieves his subjects of their heads (in post production, of course).
Inspired by his work in reality T.V., Meshkin uses the same magic to craft a storyline into his images of everyday people, in ordinary situations, sans their heads. “The magic to reality TV is everything you’re seeing really happened, but your perception is altered.” In 2008, while making timelapses, Meshkin realized that he could “erase things” when he had numerous shots when his camera was on the tripod. Taking his knowledge from the televising industry and combining them into his photography, Headless Sightings was born. Meshkin takes anywhere from 1,000-3,000 images of a scene and layers them in post, and removes one of the subject’s heads.
As he began taking more headless photos, Meshkin began researching headless characters in literature.
He stumbled upon perhaps one of the most famous headless characters, Washington Irving’s headless horseman. Ahead of his time, to promote one of his books, Irving pulled a “hoax” and purchased ad space in newspapers with a series of missing persons ads for a missing historian named Diedrich Knickerbocker. In addition to that, Irving also placed a notice from the hotel where Knickerbocker went “missing” that if Knickerbocker did not pay his hotel bill, the hotel would publish a manuscript he’d left behind. Of course, there was much interest within the public and when Irving published A History of New York, written by none other than Diedrich Knickerbocker, it was an immediate success. Alas, viral marketing without the internet. Brilliant.
Irving’s hoax inspired Meshkin to “pull a hoax of his own.” He printed up Headless Sighting posters and poster them all over the neighborhoods where the photos were taken.
The photos created quite a bit of buzz, and #headlessightings hashtags began popping up as people tried to figure out from where and from whom these images surfaced. Almost 5 years later, Meshkin went public and posted the images on his Flickr account. His quirky series and viral marketing tactics have reached a wide audience so far.
I make these images as my art. Almost everything about them is real, real sunlight, real people, real locations. I don’t add things that weren’t there, I only twist the imagery that I captured. My drive to create is in hoping people will look at the world they live in, in a different way.
CREDITS: All photographs shared by Krocky Meshkin are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.