The Work

A face is but a mere mask, and not a transparent window to what some people refer to as our soul, authentic self, or true essence. There is no truth when dealing with people. People only broadcast to specific people specific glimpses that they feel safe and comfortable to concede, and a face is just another semblance they manage.

Human beings aren't definitions, nor do they operate in a binary–there is no black or white, on or off, cold or hot. We are complex little beasts with our own unique labyrinth of obscure, unresolved, layers upon layers of inner turmoil–self portraits and identities that are constantly being reconstructed as we walk through the dark corridors of life. 

There is no authentic Self, and as such, there is no authentic portrait. My work are anti-portraits in the sense that they don't attempt to reveal any kind of absolute truth about that particular person. A successful "portrait", for me, raises more questions than it provides answers. And in a minor way, my work is a failing effort to free the person I'm shooting from the expectations and definitions that others have burdened them with.

My intention: to implant them in an entirely novel world–a fictional realm of my own making.


The genesis of DragnMastr13, my alter ego, resulted from a tugging desire to delve deeper within a facet of myself that had, for a variety of reasons, been muted by the lingering gaze of others.

It's an homage to early internet chatroom culture, where screen names always seemed to have quirky spelling variants, with numbers affixed at the end–in doing so, its users personalized an anonymous identity, making it their own.

I'm fascinated with these anonymous communities, and how their participants have the freedom to invent a new Self, in shadow. I guess that's why I prefer to tackle the study of Self from a quasi-fictional realm, rather than a dialectic. Wearing the DragnMastr13 mask allows me that fluidity–an "I"-ness that isn't concrete and defined, but free to be whomever it pleases. And who I desire to be, is an ever-evolving individual who finds a playfulness and pleasure in the fabrication and mastery of his identity.

Through the fictional chronicles and photography of this alter ego, I'm crafting an impish personal legend. Its central protagonist, DragnMastr13, is a lowly "orphic fiend" in pursuit of deification, a quest that would thus give ultimate meaning to his disillusioned life. His use of self-capitalizing personal pronouns is a testament to his delusions of grandeur, in an absurd world.

Lee Fisher

Photographer. Alchemist. Orphic fiend.

My photography is the byproduct of a life that has endured many losses, but resisted defeat. 

I was raised by the fire and brimstone of a worrywart Salvadoran grandmother. As a result, I was never given a ticket to explore my outside world when I was younger–I could get kidnapped, molested, and trafficked into a life of child prostitution she would contend.

I can still remember spending most of my waking days after school, isolated in my room. While all the neighborhood kids played touch football out on the streets, I entertained myself reading, daydreaming, and crafting inter-galactic spaceships out of cardboard boxes (literal and abstract) from the depths of my imagination. Needless to say, solitude was (and continues to be) my companion. In retrospect, I'm grateful I came away from that turbulent childhood with such a rich inner life. Now it's a form of self-preservation. 

Besides dinosaurs, the solar system, and my older brother's secret porn stash, I developed a child-like fascination and curiosity with the human face–the human face as metaphor for selfhood. It's this interest in the mythology of Self that propels my work.