Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Youth and the Looking Glass

Tom Hussey has been working with companies and clients for commercial advertising in the United States. While working on his Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography and Museum Practices at the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, Hussey worked on a series on Vietnam War veterans in the area. His exhibition, titled “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You,” showcased thirty-six archivally printed black and white portraits. Currently, Hussey runs a full-production studio in Dallas, TX. 
Hussey desires to capture a bit of imagination in his photographs and aims to “create a complex interplay between reality and illusion.” And the series that he is notoriously know for does exactly that. “Reflections” came about because of an ad campaign for a prescription medication for the treatment of Alzheimer onset dementia.

Uzzi and Spiro, in the article on collaboration and creativity, stated, “Creativity is not only, as myth tells, the brash work of loners, but also the consequence of a social system of actors that amplify or stifle one another’s creativity.” For "Reflections, Hussey worked in a collaborative environment, working closely with his clients to ultimately produce work that served their needs. 

Each image depicts an elderly individual, glancing into the mirror and seeing their youth. Hussey beautifully juxtaposes images depicting moments across decades. He provides an insight into the life of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and the struggle they face as their mind reverts to the past while their bodies continue to take on the toll of time. 
To see more of the thought provoking series, visit



  1. This is an amazing idea. Not only is it effective as an ad campaign, it also depicts Alzheimer's with grace and delicacy. Today there are still many stigmas against diseases such as Alzheimer's so it's great to see someone like Tom Hussey remind the general public that people afflicted by this disease have a past just like the rest of us. There are some pictures that not only depict the past but also the future. For example, the elderly woman waiting outside the delivery room seeing herself reflected as a young mother holding her newborn child. She has just become a grandmother, therefore Alzheimer's is robbing her of numerous years of watching her grandchild grow up. Other than educating, these pictures do a beautiful job of showcasing creativity as well as campaigning for a drug against Alzheimer's.

  2. I really love this post and will definitely have to check out Hussey's work! I'm a psychology major, and I always like to hear about artful representations of psych related material (in this case Alzheimer's). I think art is a great medium to get people's attention and make them think about subjects, like diseases, that are uncomfortable and that most people try and mentally and emotionally avoid. I'm really curious what the models felt during and after these pieces were done. Was there a feeling of loss for the youth they no longer have, or was there a happiness in getting to look back on their life?

  3. Lyba, I love this! I've seen these photos before and find them so moving. They really show how elderly people have more to them than meets the eye-everyone has a story.


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