When you see David Jay’s photos from the SCAR Project you might gasp. His portraits of young breast cancer survivors, all ranging from 18 to 35 years old, hide nothing.
From October 28 to November 6 the Openhouse Gallery in New York City will be exhibiting the photos, which show off the scars of breast cancer survivors and chronicle the effect it has had on their bodies. Some of the women stand alone, others together. Some look proud. Others look vulnerable. But no matter what, it’s hard to look away.
The fashion photographer started the project after a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. He wanted to provide her and others a way to express themselves.
"For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease," said Jay. “It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it.”
Jay is dedicating this exhibit to not only these survivors, but to the other 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone. The under 40 lot seem to be the most overlooked. According to the Young Survival Coalition, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women ages 15-40. While women over 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer have an 89% five-year relative survival rate, the rate for women under 40 drops to 82%, according to the American Cancer Society. The understanding is that the tumors diagnosed in younger women may be more aggressive and less responsive to treatment making early detection even more important.
On October 28, Openhouse Gallery is having an opening night gala where you can meet with Jay and have the opportunity to speak with breast cancer survivors featured in the SCAR Project exhibit. On October 30 and November 5, they are having a gallery walk with the photographer. You can buy tickets to either event here.
General Admission tickets for the 10-day exhibit are on a donation basis.
Photo by David Jay
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