I source original, censored packaging from Iran.

Packaging in which the women have been erased.
Inked out, individually, by hand.

I remove the blacked-out figure from the surrounding image,
and a transformation occurs.

The censor becomes an artist.
And the censored figure becomes a portrait.

A portrait not of a person, but of absence. Of suppression. A portrait of a point of view.

The censor, a person whose function is to erase,
becomes the person who makes us see.
— Phillip Toledano

View the entire series on the project website

‘The Absent Portrait’ is currently on view at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne.
Exhibition: 09.10.2013 – 02.11.2013

Phillip Toledano (b. 1968) is a British photographer living and working in New York City. As an artist, he works across mediums from photography to installation. His conceptual themes are primarily socio-political. Toledano has five monographs published on his artistic practice, all being received to critical acclaim. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times magazine, The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Wallpaper, The London Times, The Independent Magazine, Le Monde, and Interview, amongst others.

Explore more of Mr. Toledano’s work on


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