These Play-Doh Portraits Freak Us Out (But We Can't Stop Looking)

People are now asking the artist to "smash my face up."

A Portuguese artist is playing around with Play-Doh on the human face. It's fantastic, grotesque and -- well, just see below.

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José Cardoso recently debuted a series of photos featuring bizarre mash-ups of his friends' faces with Play-Doh that matches their skin tones.
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The result looks like the living embodiment of The Weeknd's smash hit "Can't Feel My Face."
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Cardoso, who creates under the name "Ze," has his subjects squish and twist an orange-sized piece of the modeling dough into any shape they chose. Then he photographs their creations and photoshops them onto portraits of those individuals.
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Cardoso, who is based in Porto, Portugal, said his striking pictures are open to a variety of interpretations.
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"There's a lot of theories about identity loss nowadays, about how social networks can help you fake your real identity," Cardoso told HuffPost. "Why do people use photoshop in order to hide imperfections but never use that tool to enhance deficiencies?"
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He said his work could also be seen as a comment on how easy it is to get "plastic surgery to your face like it was made of Play-Doh."
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"How come humans can't help but stare at disfigured faces, even moderate disfigurements?" the artist asked.
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Although Cardoso uses modern innovations to manipulate the images, his project is actually a tribute to old-school special effects like those seen in 1980s-era David Cronenberg films.
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"I'm a big fan of David Lynch as I am a big fan of those craziest Cronenberg movies," Cardoso said, referring to another director noted for his striking visual style. "I do love old-school gory special effects."
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The portraits have been generating a strong reaction ever since Cardoso posted them at Behance.net, though not everyone is taken by the shocking images.
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"A lot of people are offended by the images, while others just think this is way too much aggressive," Cardoso said. "I did this for fun, as a tribute to old-school special effects, an easy and clean way to create bizarre characters ... so I expected people to look at this in a more relaxed way and not in a negative way."
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Cardoso started on the project 10 months ago, He was surprised at how willing people were to pose for him.
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"I was hoping that two or three close friends would agree to help me, but every day I have private messages on my Facebook account like: 'Hey, I'm John, I really want you to smash my face up. How can we do this? Thanks!'" Cardoso said.
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He figures there's a simple reason why his project has appealed to people.
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"People love selfies," he said. "People spend a lot of money on their face because it is their greeting card, I guess."

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