Conventional wisdom has it that the eyes are the most telling part of a good portrait. But collector and former New York City gallerist W.M. Hunt is anything but conventional in his photographic preferences. For years, Hunt has been acquiring photos in which the subjects’ eyes are in some way obscured, if not altogether out of view. Taken as a whole, his collection makes for a deliciously enigmatic take on portraiture — one that Aperture is featuring in a new book, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious. A selection of these images are also on view in the exhibition “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection” at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY (through mid-February 2012).
In this LIFE.com exclusive, Hunt shares his thoughts on six photographs from his book — have a look at them here.