Half Faces

Left and right halves of faces seem pretty much the same.  I took portraits of my family in preparation for a little experiment. (My little brother does not appear here.)

Portraits of Dad, Mom, Me and Mike


I reversed each portrait, cut the faces in half, and made portraits of left halves and right halves. The resulting faces are very strange indeed.

In the case of my older brother, Mike, I tried the same thing. I have these photos, but chose not to post them. Mike’s face is not bilaterally symmetric. His eyes do not seem to work together. Each by itself, I have found after years of observation, can appear to be looking at me, but I have never seen him look at me with both eyes at the same time. Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal.

In the last frame of the strip below, I reversed Mike’s portrait. I invite the reader to imagine what full portraits made up of Mike’s left halves and right halves would look like.

portraits made up of left halves and right halves

In the same-half-face portraits of my parents and me, we are still recognizable. Mike’s half-face portraits render him unrecognizable. However those of you who have followed my blog for a while might remember that I used mirrors to construct a ‘whole’ picture of Mike from a photo I took at his 40th birthday party.

The resulting manipulation was not recognizable as my actual brother, Mike, but rather as a construction of a face I wish I knew.


2 thoughts on “Half Faces

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your comment. I enjoy philosophy and the questions of medical ethics as well. (I may be making an assumption that you enjoy them as well, since you teach them, but I could be wrong.)

      I just read a little bit of your blog. It’s hysterical, in the funny sense. I’ll be reading more of it.

      Thanks again,


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