Some experiences are more gut-wrenching than others, even though we may find it difficult to explain why, photographer I Must Be Dead‘s work touches something deep within, pulls at our gut, moves us physically.

The sarcastic moniker ‘I Must Be Dead‘ of 29 year old McKay Jaffe from Phoenix, Arizona comes from a poem he has tattooed on his arm. His taste for tattoo art can also be found on the skin of his models, as many of the most famous tattooed pinups have ended up in front of his camera. It is clear that I Must Be Dead has a weakness for bodies, displayed in provocative poses, sardonic allusions and twisted humor, the result both disturbing and bewitching.

The treatment of his photographs is always quite extreme, with bold colours and harsh lighting, working perfectly with models from so-called counter-culture, aka alternative beauty. The artist, whose motto is clearly “Fuck you.” (with a dot, to rub it in) enjoys tickling the sensibilities of the public, and the art world with references borrowed from both porn and conceptual photography. Rough, dark, intense and yet gorgeous, the work of I Must Be Dead creates a giddy appreciation of nonconformism, just the required tonic for the blah of every day.

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