Behind the Project: Human Sculptures

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke with Julien Palast, a photographer in Paris. His “SKINDEEP” offered a unique, eye-catching rendition of humans as sculptures. Take a deeper look into his process below.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I wanted to create instant bas-relief (a type of sculpture) with live bodies, like ephemeral sculptures of the human form. i got inspired by the scenes you can find in the front of churches or antique monuments.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I wanted to retain the sculptural form of the body without the personal identity of a model. I tried with body painting in the past, but it is a very long process that always needs a lot of on-stage and post-production retouching. So I was searching for a technique that would avoid all this. I started by experimenting with different materials and techniques. I did several trials before coming up with the right technique. it got improved during the photoshoots, and is still improving!

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
No, i wasn’t expecting it to be so popular, I was happy with the outcome but I was very happy to see that so many people appreciated it.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
I did a first version of the SkinDeep project in 2010, but the material was not the same and the outcome was more abstract, less accurate, which was nice too but I wanted to explore a different side for this second version. In between these two series, I tried out with several different materials and techniques before finding the one that I found more suitable.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
I really enjoyed working on making up this new technique and I am still exploring it but with different ideas.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?
A lot of different blogs talked about it, from all around the world! It was great to see it was appreciated in different parts of the world. A few job opportunities came in also. Some people wanted to buy some pictures of the series for their home or office, which was great too.