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#MENtalHealth: (In)visible, a photo series


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As part of our MENtal Health content series on male mental health, Gianluca Chincoli has produced a photo series, based on the theme (In)visible.

His photographs cover a range of ideas surrounding the theme, combining portraits of people he knows and has encountered with a self-portrait to express the complexities of mental health beyond appearances.


1) Merging two shots together, the first photo in the series represents the intricacies of the ego. Captured in photographic form, the subject’s shout is frozen in silence, creating a discomforting sense of echoing endlessness.

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


2) Taken in Edinburgh, the below image explores the sense of self in large cities. Gianluca says, “This shot [aims] to remind the audience that not all of us can always comfortably be themselves in such a chaotic environment.”

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


3) Using long exposure, this shot explores the inner chaos of the mind. From photographing the subject facing three different directions, the image features “this sort of monstrous creature,” as Gianluca describes the distorted head of the model.

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


4) After making friends with an artist in Bali, Gianluca found out about the man’s life, stresses and struggles. This photo of the artist on a beach is a striking portrait, with an angular positioning of his arms – one of which drapes heavily and somewhat wearily against his forehead – along with the added depth of the personal story behind it.

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


5) In Malta, Gianluca captured this photo of a play, created and directed by students, about overcoming struggles with being stereotyped or bullied. The play focused on encouraging viewers to speak up, seek help and stand up for themselves and others.

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


6) In a contemporary art exhibition in Austria, Gianluca captured a man surrounded by an installation of cubic mirrors. He says, “The meaning I see behind this image is that the man is lost within the walls of his mind, which can distort and confuse the concept of reality.”

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


7) The person in the below image was a homeless man that Gianluca met in Madrid. He was holding a saxophone, and Gianluca spoke to him for over two hours about his struggles with depression and the difficulties he has faced throughout his life.

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli


8) Gianluca’s self-portrait is an interesting addition to the series, highlighting the wide relatability of the theme.

He says, “I decided to incorporate this self-portrait in the series to remind the audience that no one is completely sane.

“The very concept of being mentally sane could never exist simply because everyone is different, and we could never pretend to fully understand what goes on in the mind of someone else.

“Many times I feel like an outsider, a weirdo, someone that doesn’t stick to stereotypes, and does not fit in… but I love it.

“I’ve been away from my home for already 3 years and I’m only 20. This has given me the opportunity to experience an incredible variety of situations, where I realised that the beauty of people resides in [them] being themselves.”

Image credit: Gianluca Chincoli

This article is part of The National Student’s MENtal Health content series which is led by Laura Brown. You can see more from the series here.

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