Kopeikin Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition with UK born and New York based artist Phillip Toledano, whose portrait series “A New Kind of Beauty” may be the most memorable exhibition you’ll see this year. These images, which many consider disturbing, are of people who’ve made choices that while creating an abnormal appearance exude a captivating bodily presence.
“… looking at these images, we have to question how our aesthetic judgments are compromised by our guardedness or discomfort with these seeming distortions, these new proportions. this is different and unfamiliar territory, and that makes us resistant or, after a couple of deep breaths, tentative. that is what art does sometimes. it is insistent, and it makes us react. it pushes, and we push back.” – Bill Hunt writing about Phillip Toledano’s “A New Kind of Beauty”
Toledano’s staid approach focuses on the physicality of his sitters and doesn’t sensationalized them. Placing them in classical poses and chiaroscuro style, they are shown nude or partially clothed, draped in cloth with simple hairstyles and unornamented. The Images alternately resemble the compositions of classical painting and sculpture. Magnificently lit and printed, the large images reveal the impressive detail capture by the photographer. Pores, veins and fine lines all become visible, and the varied texture of the skin becomes a complex element of some of these images. To me, these are the most beautiful. In people who have strayed so far from their natural human forms, it is here that I find the tenderest human element. Like Tolledano’s portrait of Allanah, the woman who inspired the project. Her face is striking, strangely distorted and mask-like, a series of beautiful features that in combination seem unsettlingly off. She is a vision of surgical enhancement. Her expressionless face seems oddly inert, yet her eyes draw you in.
"I believe we are at the vanguard of a period of human-induced evolution. A turning point in history where we are beginning to define not only our own concept of beauty, but of physicality itself."
Following are a few images from the exhibition however this is a stunning photo series you should definitely try to check out in person..
A New Kind of Beauty
Through July 7th 2012