Posted by Marcus Byrne on 29 May 2017

Tags we are all human, human race, same race, stripped of their skin, colour of the skin, creative retoucher

Creative retoucher Marcus Byrne produces a series of confronting images unlike no other.

The world’s leaders as you’ve never seen them before. A study in what separates us all, and what should bring us all together.


One millimeter. Just one millimeter of skin is what makes us all look different.

One millimeter that creates divides.

One millimeter that leads to hate.

One millimeter that ends in wars.

If you remove this one millimeter, we reveal that we are all the same.

We are all humans. The political leaders of the world are no different. Their rhetoric can divide us or bring us together.

Stripped of their skin we see that they are all creatures of the same race. The human race.

By simply removing this layer, the hope is we can all look past the colour of the skin and instead see that no matter what your race, or your age, or your ethnicity, or your political beliefs we should all treat each other with respect. One millimetre can make a huge difference.

Titled “One Millimeter”, the digital artworks are designed to make the viewer think about looking past the colour of skin, ethnic background, gender, or political belief.

We are all members of the same race - the human race.

The series is the brainchild of Australian creative director Alex Wadelton and Irish art director and creative retouching artist Marcus Byrne.

I was watching the news one night, looking at the state of politics in the UK, the US, and here in Australia, along with what’s happening in Syria, and the mass displacement of tens of millions people across the globe,” said Wadelton, “and it just feels like the world is on a knife edge at the moment. Our leaders are posturing to protect their own country rather than the future of humanity. It struck me that the only difference between us all is literally the skin we’re in. That one millimeter of skin that covers each human. Strip that away and what lies beneath us all is a fragile creature.”

He immediately thought of his good friend, Marcus Byrne as the person with the right level of skills, empathy, and ability to bring this idea to life.

Byrne believed in the idea straight away, even if he didn’t know immediately how to make it possible. Experimenting in Photoshop, he finally came up with a technique involving finding existing state portraits of the world leaders, layered upon human body schematics, with multiple shots of different cuts of meat to build the imagery.

“We wanted to show how fragile humanity is,” said Byrne. “There’s so much negativity in the world at the moment, we thought that through stripping away this outer layer of skin, this one millimeter that encases us all, we could show how we are all the same inside.”

“Each artwork was a labour of love,” said Byrne. “I experimented with many techniques to ensure that even with the removal of skin, you could immediately tell who each world leader was. The result is a series that is unlike any other.”