The photographer Alex John Beck knows faces; his portraits have been featured in New York Magazine and in the ad images of Ralph Lauren. Facial beauty in the cosmetic industry is often thought to be the result of symmetry; fashion and glamour images are often altered to make a model’s face appear more symmetrical. Beck’s project Both Sides Of takes that definition of beauty to task; by compositing images from his portfolio, the artist composes two symmetrical faces by duplicating and mirroring the right and left sides individually, begging the question, “Should flawlessly symmetrical faces really be the ultimate standard of beauty?”
The juxtaposition of the two photoshopped images is startling, revealing facial nuances that are more easily recognized when doubled. Ultimately, the symmetrical faces are beautiful, but the viewer longs to construct the face of a real person, trying to reconcile the two inhumanly perfect images. The series serves in part to remind us that beauty ideals are in many ways arbitrary; perhaps our “flaws” are what make us truly beautiful, human, and interesting. Take a look.
Thanks to My Modern Met
Images via My Modern Met