Beauty Then And Now

Laurie says:

An Italian artist named Utopia ( Anna Giordano) has modified classic paintings to recreate the women so that they conform to the societal beauty standards of the 2000’s. Some of the images in Women En Large subtly showed fat women in ways that we anticipate seeing traditional beauty.  Obviously this is anything but subtle.  It’s worth checking them all out.

Apart from highlighting once again the amazing possibilities of digital technologies applied to art, this job from Anna Giordano is indeed a good cue to reconsider both the subjectivity of cultural standards (in facts, ours are so different from the past ones) and the inclination of modern society and advertising companies to edit most images of  feminine body in order to reach a fake perfection, corresponding to an unreachable reality. – Digital Meet Culture.

The Hayez Venus:



And now the Botticelli:





3 thoughts on “Beauty Then And Now

  1. You can’t change the central figure without altering the overall composition of the painting. A curve that’s echoed in the landscape is lost; the face looks out of proportion with the figure; the shadows or the angle of the limbs in relation to the body are off; etc. It’s hard for me to know what to make of these paintings. They look wrong, off, weird — but I don’t know whether that’s because a) the composition has been vandalized, b) the figures themselves are altered so as to be outlandish, or c) I know several of these paintings pretty well, so I know what’s been changed.

  2. I’m not visually gifted like Janet, but to my untrained eye the central figures literally seem shrunken and diminished. Perhaps unconsciously I’m tracking the damage done to the integrity of the whole–like a happy face on the Mona Lisa.

  3. Janet and Lynne,

    That’s interesting. I can certainly see what you see. But I saw these images simply as an historical social change body image comment. The contrast of the supporting figures to me, emphasized the ludicrousness of the idea that the present “beauty” image is somehow “true” beauty.

    Certainly it ruins the paintings artistically but clearly changing any central figure in a work of art would do that.
    So for _me_ that was so not the point that the work did not feel vandalized.

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