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May we shine

For this set of paintings, I focused on the notion of human beauty.  Throughout art history we can see the evolution of the various canons of what we define as beauty. All cultures have produced artworks or imagined deities which embody human beauty. What I find interesting is that these canons always evolve.

 

Presuming our contemporary icons of beauty could be defined by the models used in the fashion industry I viewed hundreds of models on online top agencies. I noticed that borders were being blurred. Where in the 1950ies beauty was defined by an emphasis of sexual attributes, large breasts, tiny waits, long hair for women; muscles, large shoulders, powerful jaws for men, nowadays these attributes seem to be completely secondary almost insignificant. To the point that gender is somehow almost invisible. The new trend is tending towards a genderless ideal of beauty. What is most focused on is the uniqueness of the features and the emotional aura of the individual. The ethnic diversity is also quite outstanding. Fifty years ago, the fashion industry was much more stereotyped, with mostly Caucasians being shown as top of the beauty chain. Nowadays trends seek fresh new faces in the most remote places of the earth. Always reaching out for this uniqueness which is todays’ moto.  

 

By pushing these trends to their limit, I thought these figures resembled angels depicted in the past: Genderless, exotic and with very strong personalities and fierce gazes. I selected 25 models which were to me representative of this trend and embodied this notion of angelic beings. By using a very limited palette I created a cluster of these sublime and evanescent figures which I see as icons of our ever-evolving contemporary culture.