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Singular Beauty: Photographing Cosmetic Surgery Clinics
As the adage goes, document what you know. Cara Phillips has never gone under the knife of a plastic surgeon, but she has photographed dozens of plastic surgery rooms around the country — all under the glare of florescent surgery lights. A former child model, Phillips chose photography as a way to turn her own lens on an industry she felt objectified women — and to battle her own body image demons. The result is Singular Beauty, a book of haunting portraits of the insides of cosmetic surgery offices and their promise of a better you.
What drew you to document the beauty industry?
Before I became a photographer, I spent most of my life in the beauty business, first as a child model and later as makeup artist. From a very early age, I learned that being beautiful was both valuable and required of women. These experiences left me with some serious body-image issues. So the decision to focus my camera on beauty started off as a personal exploration, but as the project progressed, my focus shifted to the larger cultural issues of aging, desire, and physical perfection. The cosmetic surgery industry is the ultimate expression of the relentless American pursuit of youth and beauty.
Hurray for our recently-departed, much-missed photo editor Cara Phillips!
Lorena Guillen Vaschetti: historia, memoria y silencios
Channeling memory and emotion through images made by her grandfather in Argentina more than a generation earlier, Lorena Guillen Vaschetti’s book historia, memoria, y silencios captures feelings of the textured caress and mood of loss, anticipation, and desire. The images all made with slide film were nearly thrown away by Lorena’s mother but in a fortuitous moment some work was saved. In addition to the muted and strikingly intuitive images in the book, Lorena includes photographs of her grandfather’s saved slides. As objects, they are beautifully rendered and quiet monuments that contain the mysterious and compelling source from which her extraordinary familial visions emanate and that together with and juxtaposed to the photographs create a lucid and powerful chronicle of family relationship in and over time. history, memory, and silence is a moving and creative compendium of visual memories that powerfully distill the personal and always evolving nature of family history into the living and breathing present.
From her introduction to the project:Memory is certainly capricious and organic, permanently building and rebuilding itself. How is it that the truth, once repeated over and over again, becomes somehow another truth? What is the relationship between memory and the past? and how exactly does this relationship work?
What role could photography play in such relationship?
[Photo: Tamar Levine / Gallery Stock, via]
In a kitchen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, an abaya-clad woman shows her zebra-striped slippers. Some Saudi women like to have small bands of color or other decorative touches on the long, black garb that’s supposed to help them maintain modesty. Others say such ornamentation is improper because it attracts men’s attention.
Portraits of modern Burma: 83-year-old Buddhist monk Dan Punnami and a 14-year-old student, Hliang Myo Wi. (Cedric Arnold)
Valerio Spada: Gomorrah Girl
Annalisa Durante was a victim of the Mafia warfare in Naples. Caught in the cross fire of a gangland execution attempt between rival clans, she was only 14 years old at the time of her death. Gomorrah Girl (named after Gomorrah, the 2008 film exploring the crime syndicates of southern Italy) is an investigation into the lives of the young women affected by the perpetual violence of the Camorrah mafia. The death of Annalisa is a grim background to the lives of girls depicted throughout the series; their adolescence cut short not by death, but by the mature demands and survival requirements of a community terrorized by gang warfare.
The series was published as a book that was awarded Blurb’s Photography Book Now Grand Prize in 2011. The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center presents Gomorrah Girl as an exhibition, opening this Thursday, September 13.
Philly tumblrs, you should go and check this out tonight at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
Erika Larsen: Sami - Walking with the Reindeer
Help support Erika Larsen’s fantastic long-term body of work, Sami - Walking with the Reindeer. Larsen is currently pre-selling copies her book of the project through the visual journalism crowd funding site, Emphas.is.
My photographs explore the Sámi herder’s symbiotic relationship with the environment, their existence in today’s world and their ancestral roots.
This work was created in Kautokeino, Norway and Gallivare, Sweden where I worked as a beaga, or housekeeper, for a family of Sámi reindeer herders. I chose to immerse myself in this manner so that I could better understand what I was seeing and experiencing when creating the images. The actual image making process was intuitive but the process for understanding the culture required full immersion, through work, learning North Sámi language and listening.
This we will signal boost.
[Photo Illustration by Darren Braun for Newsweek, in “Myth Of Decline: U.S. Is Stronger and Faster Than Anywhere Else”]
Right Before Your Eyes: Photography Driven By Social Change
Right Before Your Eyes honors the work of photographers who bring attention to the most pressing public policy, human rights, and environmental concerns, through collaboration with existing nonprofit organizations. Presented by PhotoPhilanthropy, an organization that promotes social change and charitable work by connecting photographers with nonprofits, the visual stories expressed by these mutually inspiring partnerships have the potential to influence policy around the world.
The exhibition is free, hosted in the Visitors Lobby of the United Nations building, and open to the public August 16 – September 10. For detailed information about visiting requirements and hours, visit the “Exhibit” page on the United Nations website.
Check this out, New York.
Tasmania by Jackie Dewe Mathews
Check out this beautiful photo essay by Jackie Dewe Mathews on Tasmania from this week’s Newsweek International.