What is beauty?

In this project I wanted to compare the conventional idea of beauty with my personal idea of beauty. My idea of beauty is more like the traditional old masters portraits/paintings. I began looking into iconic painting for inspiration on poses and style of costumes, for example Vermeer’s ‘Girl with the pearl earring’, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and portraits of Queen Elizabeth the first.  I wanted my work to be influenced by fashion/media aesthetics so I used white backgrounds and flash lighting.

I used products such as magazines, bubble wrap which is reminiscent of packaging materials. The bubble wrap texture contrasts against what is considered perfect skin. I used tin foil reminiscent of shiny, polished, new packaging or magazines. Could also be seen as a texture of skin being pulled smooth and tight in cosmetic surgery. The use of props and costumes almost adds a comedic outlook on modern fashion and media as well as the painting they mimic.

I found this project difficult as I struggled with film, lighting and other technical difficulties. I really enjoyed the research side of the project however I needed to narrow down and find what specifically I’m trying to say about beauty within my images.  I don’t feel the final images have worked the way I wanted it to. I have learnt many lessons of what can go wrong and how easily things can go wrong. However I might revisit this project at a later date.

Cameras used: (Hasselblad 6×7 and Mamiya 6×6)

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