Aging Gracefully

In an ongoing series of elegant, largely landscape-driven photographs, Brooklyn-based photographer Rachel Sussman focuses her lens on what are definitively the oldest living organisms in the world (i.e. plants, forestry, coral, and fungi that have been around for upwards of 2,000 years). The project, titled “The Oldest Living Things,” has...

Aging Gracefully

Ticklish?

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...

Ticklish?

Open Secrets

Photographers have long excelled at making the private public—showing us what we don’t (or, in many cases, can’t) necessarily see; taking us somewhere new, somewhere strange, somewhere that is perhaps off-limits. S. Billie Mandle quietly elegant series “Reconciliation” does exactly that. The Brooklyn-based shutterbug has photographed...

Open Secrets

Paper Trail

We just can’t get enough of these lo-fi special effects… The New York-based photographer Brendan Austin uses paint, crinkly paper, and deft craftsmanship to build miniature crags and rugged cliffs. He then photographs his creations—to alarming realistic effects. The resulting series, titled “Paper Mountains,” succeeds on so many levels....

Paper Trail

Lights. Camera. Action!

San Francisco-based photographer Christina Seely wants to bring things back down to Earth. Her “Lux” series starts with NASA composite imagery of the entire planet at night. It’s sort of the inverse of looking up at the stars—flickers of light denote people as the most densely-populated regions of the world correlate with those bearing the...

Lights. Camera. Action!
  • Aging Gracefully
  • Ticklish?
  • Open Secrets
  • Paper Trail
  • Lights. Camera. Action!
29 Nov
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Beauty Myths

Zed Nelson’s award-wining and profoundly affecting photographic series “Love Me” illustrates the great lengths to which men and women all over the world go in their quests for beauty (not to mention the sort of attention that tends to accompany it). Nelson takes us to China, Malaysia, Tehran, Rio, New York, and, of course, Texas. He introduces us to some of the individuals that hold themselves to these impossible (and largely Caucasian) standards of beauty as they get waxed, sculpted, bleached, and scrutinized. We meet Anthony Mascolo, a 46-year-old New Jersey man who underwent liposuction on his chin and stomach (“I’m competing with men 20 years younger than me,” he told the photographer at the time) and Kristen O’Connell, a perfectly trim 13-year-old girl photographed at a New York state weight-loss camp boasting “I’ve been here ten days and lost eight pounds so far.” Nelson takes into operating rooms around the globe, backstage at cringe-worthy beauty pageants, and inside magazines like—we kid you not—Brazil’s Plastica & Beleza (a.k.a. Plastic Surgery & Beauty).

“We have created a world in which there are enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties attached to the way we look,” Nelson writes in an artist’s statement about the series. “Can any of us honestly say, ‘I don’t want to be attractive?’ Don’t we all want to be loved? But have we been brainwashed into believing that in order to be loved we need smaller noses, bigger breasts, tighter skin, longer legs, flatter stomachs and to appear ever youthful? Where does it end?”

It’s an important issue—and one that’s not going away anytime soon as models and actors remain underfed and mostly white. But perhaps we can do something on a micro level with New Year’s resolutions geared toward inner beauty and deeper intellect as opposed to toned abs and a button-like snout.

Photos: © 2010 Zed Nelson – www.ZedNelson.com

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