PHOTO: ANDREW H. WALKER/SHUTTERSHOCK
It's easy to feel like you really know celebrities, especially ones whose work has meant something, or helped you through a problem.
It's why so many people feel such a loss when one passes away—maybe you've never met them, but they've had a deeply felt impact on your personal growth.
But at the end of the day what we see is curated.
It doesn't mean the celebrity behind it is vapid or fake, it's simply the nature of the industry. A person who is constantly put on display for others to judge, someone who's career relies heavily on what the public thinks about them, can only be so transparent.
Andrew H. Walker, Staff Photographer at Shutterstock, set out to break down this barrier. In his photo series entitled "Celebrity Diptych Project", he asked his subjects to present the duality in their personality, representing both their public and private personas.
On his website, Walker says of the project:
"This was a rare opportunity for these actors to show themselves as they choose to show themselves, not as directed characters in a film. Ultimately, I wanted to give the audience something more than just a photo of a famous person."
The pictures are definitely a departure from your average celebrity portrait.
The results are not only a fascinatingly rare peek into celebrities' psyche, but also quite varied.
Some, like Felicity Jones and Anne Hathaway, revealed a more introspective, perhaps even melancholy, part of themselves:
Others took a much more subtle approach to the duality, like Cynthia Nixon, who altered only her facial expression:
Parker Posey had some fun with props:
If you're scrolling this and struggling to figure out which portrait is the "public" and which is the "private" version of each celebrity, there's a reason for that.
Walker created a sense of "intentional ambiguity" in the series, purposefully not labelling the subjects' poses. He says that in many of the portraits, he himself doesn't even know which is which.
This ambiguity is meant to express the fluidity of duality, and how murky the lines between public and private can become for celebrities over time.
Throughout their careers, celebrities may lose a sense of themselves. Years of putting on a persona could cause anyone to question who they truly are.
It prompts you to view the idea of celebrity in an entirely new way.