Daily Picture Show

Leonard Nimoy's Photography: Let Your Secret Nerd Rejoice!

It may come as delightful news that in real life, Mr. Spock is a photographer. But Leonard Nimoy, the famed Star Trek actor, has a long history with the medium — and is actually quite the Renaissance man. He studied under the acclaimed photographer Robert Heinecken in the '70s, has published poetry and received four honorary doctorates. And based on his latest photo project, one might say he's testing the waters of Aristophanic psychotherapy (I think I just coined something).

  • Amanda, waitress, cosmetologist"My father was a pastor so... I had to be mature. Now is my time... to play."
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    Amanda, waitress, cosmetologist"My father was a pastor so... I had to be mature. Now is my time... to play."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Lisa, director of communication"My own story comes from all the stories I've heard."
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    Lisa, director of communication"My own story comes from all the stories I've heard."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Matt, painter of American who have witnessed war"I would aspire to be a force of nature, a simple and pure avatar of the Earth."
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    Matt, painter of American who have witnessed war"I would aspire to be a force of nature, a simple and pure avatar of the Earth."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Ira, advertising firm CEO"My secret self is a wizrd who takes illusions and makes people think they are real."
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    Ira, advertising firm CEO"My secret self is a wizrd who takes illusions and makes people think they are real."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Joseph, U.S. Navy"I was born and got this Superman cape and a breen bear that I take with me everywhere."
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    Joseph, U.S. Navy"I was born and got this Superman cape and a breen bear that I take with me everywhere."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Paul, gallery director"The Buddha says just let it go... so far I still have that drive. I am looking for a way to reconcile it."
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    Paul, gallery director"The Buddha says just let it go... so far I still have that drive. I am looking for a way to reconcile it."
    Leonard Nimoy
  • Michael, Public relations marketing"I want to look tougher than I do."
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    Michael, Public relations marketing"I want to look tougher than I do."
    Leonard Nimoy

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Opening this weekend at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is Nimoy's latest photo series, "Secret Selves." For the past decade or so, Nimoy has been focusing his artistic efforts on photography. Although much of his previous work involves a lot of skin, this project is about what's inside the body: a dueling self, according to Nimoy. It's loosely inspired by Aristophanes' theory of soulmates — that we humans were once double-sided creatures and, split apart by an angry Zeus, now wander the Earth looking for our other halves.

With the help of a Massachusetts studio, Nimoy recruited 100 random strangers from the streets of Northampton and asked them to reveal their other halves — or "secret selves": A CEO with an internal wizard, an Episcopal priest with a dark side, a newspaper editor with mad-scientist aspirations.

While the aesthetic is oddly 1990s — and the whole thing is pretty weird — what can I say? My secret self is weird. Or maybe that's not such a secret. What's yours? (Let's keep this PG-13, folks.)

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