Naked Girls with Masks by Ben Hopper
Prints catalogue part #01 (July, 2010)
Text by Alix Fox
Ben Hopper is a mask-ermind! ʻNaked Girls with Masksʼ is the latest project by this hotter-than-wasabi up-and-coming
London-based ﬁne art photographer, which features over ten different stunning, nude models wearing surprising, comical,
and sometimes grotesque full-head masks.
Youʼve heard of masked balls…but these shots are all about masked boobies! Yet in addition to being undeniably sexual,
theyʼre also playful, disturbing, and thought-provoking: a parody of the way in which human beings usually present themselves, they beg the question – why do we reveal our faces, yet hide our bodies from view? And what happens when that arrangement is turned on its (masked) head?
The photographs just exhibited at ACT ART 8, a huge underground group art show, which took place in Angel, Islington on
Friday 9th July (www.actart.co.uk)
The project is ongoing, and Ben is looking for journalists who want to report on his work, as well as gallery owners and ﬁne
art dealers interested in arranging further exhibitions with him.
From an article by Alix Fox in Bizarre magazine, http://www.Bizarremag.com
ʻJust like Jim Careyʼs character declares in the movie The Mask, these shots of scorching nekkid chicks in crazy headgear
are “Smmmmmokinʼ!” Theyʼre from a series of images called ʻNaked Girls with MasksNaked Girls with Masksʼ (does what it
says on the chufﬁnʼ tin, dunnit), by London-based photographer Ben Hopper. “The whole project kicked off back in July of
2009, when I was snapping some pics of a stunning young lady called Cat Chappell and her girlfriend Diana,” explains Ben.
“We were at my friend Alanʼs house, and he happened to have loads of costumes and masks lying around. Catʼs back is
covered in an amazing tattoo by Xed Le Head, whoʼs famous for inking hypnotic geometrical patterns, so I persuaded her to
show if off my stripping to her birthday suit and sticking a mask on her head. I loved the effect; her perfect ﬁgure reminded
me of the nude supermodels in Helmet Newtonʼs notorious black-and-white photos, and it was so unusual to see someone
reveal their body yet hide their face, when usually itʼs the other way round. I sought out other models mostly by using social
networking sites, although Hana Mokrisova – who appears wearing both a grotesque scary rabbit head and a Venetian
mask – bumped into me at a Torture Garden fetish party. She was wandering around topless with a mask on at the time, so
she was made for the job!”
“The various masks came from all sorts of places. An octopus-shaped monstrosity borrowed from a performer named Tom Baker arrived still soaked with his sweat from a show the night before, and another mask was saturated with water: its owner had given it a bath to try and clean off the layers of grime and gunge acquired during an adventurous trip to Download festival that weekend! I got an artist called Skot Reynolds (aka Grave Industries) to transform an Ikea lampshade into a spooky skull headpiece by drawing on it, while Canadian mask-maker Douglas Witt grafted for hours to deliver three custom-made creations to me. I was quite obsessive about the need for masks to cover the modelsʼ faces completely; I wanted to separate the girlsʼ bodies and brains entirely. This meant that a lot of the mask-crafters had to work at much bigger sizes than they were used to, which was a fun challenge for everyone!”