It’s a near universal reflex… First, the tension—every muscle in your body contracts and spasms as you try to ward off your attacker. Limbs kick, swat, and flail about. Eventually, you hunch over, thinking that might help. Then come the fits of laughter. It’s nervous laughter, loud laughter, hooting-howling-squealing laughter, and laughter that, like everything else, you just can’t seem to control.

Yep, being ticklish is an innately uncomfortable phenomenon that afflicts many of us—and one that the Brooklyn-based photographer Jonathan Grassi has set out to document quite poignantly. Grassi captures his subjects mid-spasm, mid-swat, mid-laugh as they react to an unseen tickler. The results are captivating. Cropped just so, Grassi shows the body in full reaction mode, stretching, twisting, and contorting as someone else, even just momentarily, assumes its control.

Photos: © 2010 Jonathan Grassi – www.JonathanGrassi.com

Jonathan Grassi - 1

Jonathan Grassi - 1
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