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Clown Exposure: Ready for the Gift

We know from one of his past Clown Exposure photos that Shawn Crahan is way into mannequins. So if we had to guess, we’d figure this week’s entry is the shadow of a mannequin. Just look at that round head, pug nose and square jaw. But no, the photo is a shadow of an actual person — Dirty Little Rabbits keyboardist Michael Pfaff, to be precise.

“For me, this is an experiment in being honest with yourself and never denying what you feel, and reaching in and knowing what you see and not second guessing it,” Crahan tells Noisecreep. “This guy is my musical partner. He came in to my house and wanted to tell me goodbye before the last Slipknot tour. He walked in and he was talking, like, ‘Hey, I’ll see you in a month,’ and all I could do was look at the wall to my right and see this.”

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Clown Exposure: Shawn Crahan’s Photography
‘Ready For The Gift’ Original photograph by Slipknot percussionist Shawn Crahan.
Shawn Crahan

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Always eager to see beyond the surface, Crahan grasped the opportunity to capture Pfaff in, literally, a different light. “He was just standing there, his shadow. I have a window above my door, and the light was coming in and it was right around his head,” Crahan says. “And I was like, what is going on? Is that his energy? Is that a halo? It’s just beautiful. If you know him, you can look at this and go, ‘Hey, that’s Mike.’ And that’s what I thought was so cool.”

While Crahan’s vision as an artist enabled him to capture the shot, he admits that there was luck involved as well. It just so happened that the reflection splashed across spackled drywall that provided for a heavily textured shot. “It’s like the sun radiating out flares. His head was on fire,” Crahan says. “He came to my house with good intentions, and that’s why we’re dealing with white here instead of red. I was like, ‘Hold on, don’t move or I’ll kill you.’ And I walked off and grabbed my camera and I took three photos. I love it because it came out of nowhere. It was a gift. We don’t worry about what people think of what we feel or what we know. We can only be guilty of having to do what we feel we must, and I had to take this photo, and here it is. It’s for me, it’s for him.”

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