Spencer Kovats | Uncovered
In beginning this endeavour, Spencer had a clear vision of his finished project. He had hoped to document the before and after of each person and then put those paired images together into a single photograph. This photograph would ultimately connect them as a whole. However, as he “uncovered” each of his subjects he also found himself uncovering new ideas about what his work meant to him. As the project progressed, Spencer found himself becoming captivated by each person’s tattoos and the stories that came with them. So, Spencer modified his original concept to try to give each person within the ‘whole’ a story of their own. The piece evolved from a before and after showcase of tattoo art, to a story about the people who are under the cover of their tattoos.
In referring to the process of photographing almost 100 people in three days, Spencer likens the experience to that of an assembly line. Spencer was the first point contact for each participant, and although he had only roughly ten minutes with each subject, he felt that he still had enough time to break down any initial barriers and give people a chance to break out of their shells. After capturing what he calls “the deer in the headlights” expression, Spencer was able to provoke some real emotions and capture not only beautiful artwork but beautiful expressions of self as well.