Peter Travis Booth: Finding Abstract Faces in Concrete, Tile, Graffiti, and Nature

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Photography

It’s always interesting how an image of one thing can sometimes give you the illusion of another. This is the magic that Peter Travis Booth captures with his camera—his subject matter consists of man-made and naturally-created faces discovered in cracked walls, old trees and graffiti.

It all began when Peter became intrigued with the graffiti he saw on the Los Angeles freeways. Soon he was searching out “hot spots” of fabulous street paintings to photograph, and although it’s typical for graffiti photographers to use a wide-angled lens to capture the entire image, Peter only had a telephoto lens—so he had to step closer rather than back.

In the process he realized that this approach of selective cropping resulted in emotional, colorful, abstract images. The wide range of textures, including metal, concrete and stucco, pulled him in deeper.

Here is one of those beautiful Picasso-like faces:


While searching for graffiti faces, Peter came across the face below, which he entitled, Blind Philospher, in the cracked tiles of a subway station. This discovery opened a whole new world of hidden faces, beyond graffiti.


Peter continued to look for faces in unique places, broadening his search into the natural world, as well as the man-made.

In this final photograph, a mossy fence becomes a face in awe (or perhaps surprise) with open mouth and lifted eyelids. The composition is centered and almost formal, yet the subject matter is nearly alien. It’s an interesting dichotomy.


However you interpret them, I would highly encourage you to visit Peter’s website to view more of his photographs. Not only will you find faces galore, but also the artist’s unique story about each one, which are always well-worth reading.


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