Polaroids are made up of several microscopic layers that come together to form an image. Complexion investigates the ties between this structure and the way that our skin functions. Being diagnosed with eczema as an infant, I have always been hyper-aware of how my emotional stress aggravates my eczema. Complexion depicts how my emotional state alters my skin and warps my experience of reality. Similarly, my imagery undergoes a metamorphosis and influences the chemical changes I create within the Polaroid’s white border. I scan at a high resolution, crop, and reprint the Polaroids at a larger scale. The high-quality scanning highlights the colonies of geometric patterns that spread like capillaries inside the image's space, as well as the bubbles and veils that form inside the Polaroid’s chemistry. The images project into an invisible psychological state of being, showing a reality that we otherwise can't see.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Polaroid transfers; Eczema--Pictorial works

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Photography and Related Media (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CAD)


Joshua Thorson

Advisor/Committee Member

Catherine Zuromskis

Advisor/Committee Member

Ahndraya Parlato


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes