For A New Kind of Beauty, Phillip Toledano (1968, United Kingdom) portrayed men and women who had exposed themselves to a very unusual and provocative form of body modification that inevitably prompts questions on the dynamic human notion of aesthetics. Toledano is interested in what we define as beauty when we choose to create it ourselves. Each of the subjects has undergone a number of procedures, including nose jobs, eyelid lifts, breast or pectoral implants, and collagen injections. The transformative procedures make them look nearly alien, and yet the portraits suggest a new frontier for the human ideal of beauty, perhaps one that is still evolving. Through his work, Toledano poses questions such as: Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon's hand? When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity? Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? And if so, are the results the vanguard of human induced evolution?
Toledano answered some of these questions in our interview, featured in GUP#36. Read it here!
A New Kind Of Beauty has been published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2010.