The Painted Man

A Painted Man, in Rome. A Man, maybe, with severe mental health issues
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Street Photography, Scenes. Mental Health Issues

The Painted Man

A week ago, I wrote a post on “The Painted Men”, and in that post, I wrote about inequality and how it is rising in the world. But street photography gives you opportunities to take images you can interpret and re-interpret over the years. I shot this Painted Man many years ago, in Rome, and even then, his overall aspect of abject defeat and misery caught my attention. Since that fateful summer, we’ve gone through the sub-prime crisis and Covid-19, both of which created significant mental health issues in people.

I’d like all of you to pause a while and cast your eyes over the image. When you scrutinize it, you will see a man who appears to be at the edge of defeat and despair. His slouched body, the shoes, the angle of the legs, the bottle of liquor all point to a man who is down, and maybe suffering from severe mental health issues.

Covid-19

Over the last two years, we have witnessed Covid-19 ravage our bodies, societies and affect our emotional balance. I feel strongly about students whose academic careers were damaged.

I witnessed this upfront, in my family and circle of friends. My son’s board exams were interrupted, and he has gone through one and a half years of college at home. It’s been a while, and, at last, college is opening!

My daughter could not submit her final college portfolio in fashion design, and the fashion show they were to organize did not take place. The fashion industry collapsed, and she is working in a different field.

If I am to take a poll, I’d bet that many of you have similar, or (I am sure) tougher stories to tell.

I receive newsletters from Shutterstock, and in one blog post, the author mentioned people are going to prioritize mental health in 2022. Why not?

A Second Image. Invisibility with affect your mental health!

The Invisible Painted Man

I’d like to end with another image from Rome of the same Painted Man. Please compare the two images, and you will notice a critical difference. In the first image, The Painted Man is the hero. I have focused on him. Contrast this with the second image, where I have placed him in the overall scene.

If you do a lot of street photography, you get many opportunities to observe the human condition. Further, if you talk to people on the street, you will get the chance to take part in their lives, if only for a moment.

In this second image, you may not notice him. This is how most of us view those who are downtrodden. They become invisible, because of various reasons. I will not get into this, because there is no need for me to apply pop sociological insights here. But they suffer from mental health issues more than we realize. When I was living in Bombay, I attended a seminar in which the researchers showed us that mental health issues are more prevalent in India than we often realize.


Image Processing

Some of you may be curious to know how I processed this image. Since I was processing many images, I did the initial conversion using Luminar AI (I am an affiliate). Then I did the monochrome conversion and toning in Nik Silver Efex Pro (I am not an affiliate). Finally, I added a copper tone, a vignette, and a burned edge effect to finish the image.


Published by Rajiv

I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.

5 thoughts on “The Painted Man

  1. cindy knoke – https://cindyknoke.com/ I have stopped counting, which is a very good thing, but thank you sincerely for being here. Last count there were 1,110,870 internet views and visits. 125,268 wordpress comments and growing. 15,362 internet followers... Thank you & join us! I retired early after 27 years as a psychotherapist/mental health director (Cindy Barton LCSW) and moved to the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home I call "The Holler." My closest neighbors are coyotes (packs and packs of them and they are HUNGRY), rattlers (lots and lots of them and they are MEAN), and free range cows/bulls (the bulls aren't too friendly either!) Forget cell phones. They don't work out here. Forget GPS, it misdirects. It's best not to wander too much out here, the people (and their dogs) are kinda twitchy. To reach The Holler you turn right at the reeking chicken farm, down a bunch of pot-holed semi-streets/dirt roads, past the abandoned refrigerators and occupied old RV’s and then things get kinda dicey. My friends usual reaction to the trip to The Holler is, “You’ve got to be kidding!” Or, “Next time let’s meet half way.” This is our little bit of heavenly Appalachia right here in rural California. I blog about traveling, photography, Holler happenings, and anything else that strikes my fancy. Stop by the blog and take a peek. It’s safe. I promise. Cheers, Cindy~ This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
    cindy knoke says:

    Fascinating.

    1. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      Thanks!

  2. Excellent photos Rajiv. I hear of terrible things happening in India. They are happening here too.
    It is an attack on our freedoms – the pandemic is the excuse to eat away at them.
    Leslie
    You might enjoy this rant…

    https://youtu.be/bVMG8VygRTk

    1. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      Thanks! Brilliant rant!

      My son has finally moved to Bombay for college, after doing his first 1.5 years online. Let’s see what happens

    2. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      Did I reply?

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