About Close SHAVE

I have very vivid recollections of myself as a kid, sitting on the clothes hamper in the bathroom watching my Father go through the grown-up ritual of shaving. Each morning he would soak his badger-hair brush to soften the bristles before whipping the two dollops of squeezable shave cream, which he had oozed out onto his face, into a frothy white lather.

The pastel blue hamper with the tiny gold specks became my daily perch as I watched him moisten, lather and then remove only that portion of the lather that made contact with his lips. His finger would slowly and carefully trace over the lips removing just enough lather so he would not get any in his mouth as we discussed everything and nothing, all the while the Wilkinson or Gillette blade scraped away the stubble he had accumulated over the past 24 hours.

I remember the gentle tapping of the razor against the green porcelain sink and the washing away of each tiny black, brown and graying whisker as the warm water glazed the cold, sharp steel. The double-sided safety razor may have given way to any number of modern shaving contrivances and the foam topped blue hamper with the gold specks is long gone, replaced by the firmness and unfriendliness
of a new oak vanity, but the ritual remains the same for my shaving instructor.

He still soaks the bristles of his badger-hair brush to make them soft. He still uses shave cream concentrate from a tube, and he still whisks away the bright white lather from his lips just as he has for over fifty years.

Call it nostalgia, or photographic voyeurism, but for the past seven years I have been using my camera to capture people in the act of shaving; in the privacy of their bathroom and blatantly in the public eye, in parks, on sidewalks and bridges, and beyond. The collection of images is growing as is the interest among the general public. If you would like to be part of this ongoing project, please contact us at kent@kentwaddington.com.

Perhaps there is a bit of exhibitionist (and voyeur) in each of us.

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