Phillip Toledano's latest exhibition, titled, "A New Kind Of Beauty" is heading for Los Angeles. The photo series captures classical portraits of subjects who had extreme cosmetic surgery; each model has undergone a combination of procedures including nose jobs, eyelid lifts, breast and pec implants, and collagen injections. The transformative procedures make the models look almost inhuman, and yet the portraits suggest a new frontier of beauty, perhaps one that has not even fully evolved yet.
The models -- dubbed "Botox Botticellis," by the Daily Mail and other sites -- are rendered like traditional Renaissance portraits, semi-nude with their chiaroscuro skin glistening. Rather than being depicted as sensational or abnormal, however, the models appear proud and determined. They also begin to resemble each other; rather than being a random assortment of outsiders they look almost like relatives with Pamela Anderson breasts and Angelina Jolie pouts, prompting dozens of questions about art and technology's implications on beauty.
On his website, Toledano suggests that cosmetic surgery is not just enhancement but evolution. We are at a time when science can change the route of nature, and our desires can enhance our realities. Now Photoshop has dictated the new limits of physical perfection, will extreme plastic surgery change our ideals of beauty next?
In terms of art, many new aesthetic ideas are considered ugly before they are considered beautiful. Will these Botox Boticellis be the next "Demoiselles de Avignon?" If we can change ourselves can we change the definition of beauty as well?
"A New Kind Of Beauty" will show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles between June 2 and July 2.
Do you see a strange beauty to Toledano's subjects in the slideshow below?