Woman’s Face Photoshopped In 27 Countries To Compare Beauty Standards In Different Parts Of The World

Left: Original portait; Right: Morocco

Left: Original portait; Right: Morocco

Argentina

Argentina

Serbia

Serbia

U.S.A.

U.S.A.

We’ve all seen the “Before and After Photoshop” versions of photographs, displaying the ways in which various media distort our perception of ideal beauty. But what would these images look like in other countries? With her series Before & After, Esther Honig, a radio journalist based out of Kansas City, asked just that. With the help of Fiverr, a website for freelancers, she got in touch with artists from forty different countries; emailing each a self-portrait, she wrote, “Hi, my name is Esther Honig. Make me look beautiful.” When they did not understand the assignment, she simply told them to make her look like the most popular fashion models.

When artists from twenty-seven countries replied, she was astonished with the results. Some edits were so dramatic that she yelped aloud; others, like the image from Morocco, in which she was given a hijab, stole her breath. Some cultures favor a bare face where others apply makeup. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the work is the overwhelming presence of Western feminine ideals: pale white skin, pink cheeks, a dainty nose, and wide eyes contoured with trimmed brows.

In the end, the series expresses the extend to which often oppressive beauty ideals are meaningless; where a woman is declared beautiful in one culture, she might be plain in another. Yet for all women, regardless of ethnicity and background, the pressure to be beautiful remains, propagated by the whims of the contemporary media. Writes Honig, “Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more illusive.” (via Buzzfeed)

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Terrifying Images Of Ukraine Before And After The Recent Riots

kiev riots

kiev riots

kiev riots

Ukraine riots

Amidst the overwhelming violence seen in Ukraine’s recent riots, Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz (an outsider) decides to create visually stunning, but heartbreaking images that explore Ukraine’s reactions to the sudden cultural and political changes.

By taking some of the techniques applied by Sergey Larenkov on his famous series, The Ghosts of World War II, Diaz creates images that merge shots of Kiev from before and after the Ukraine riots using the same vantage points. Through this technique, a masterful trick made possible by the almighty Photoshop, the viewer is able to experience two polar opposites: a happy, peaceful Ukraine, and a chaotic Ukraine.

Looking at the dramatic contrast between happy people enjoying the sun and peace and the anger of people behind in barricades is disheartening.

(via Sploid)

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Irena Zablotska’s Psychedelic Folk Drawings

Irena Zablotska is a Ukrainian artistborrows inspiration from Eastern European folk art and super saturated cartoons to make drawings that are mythic, cute, and psychedelic.  Like Stacey Rozich, she makes creatures that are combinations of animals, people, plants, and patterns. Her world is one where life hasn’t splintered into different forms but exists in one animistic force, or maybe it’s a world where we’ve evolved to such a degree that we can collage lifeforms onto one another to make new inter-special selves. As graphic as they are colorful, they’re a real visual treat.

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Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven’s Haunting Photography Out of Eastern Europe

 

Tania Scheglova and Roman Noven, based in the Ukraine, are frequent collaborators, especially in the realm of fashion photography. They also work together on more personal material as well, and often post the results to Synchrodogs, a website they share. Perhaps due to a lingering Cold War sensibility or some other intangible, Eastern Europe maintains a dark, unknown quality. Full of strong emotion and isolated coldness, the photographs created by these two perfectly illustrate such atmosphere, reminding us how easy it is to get lost sometimes.

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Anton Abo and Ooli Mos

Together, artists Anton Abo and Ooli Mos make up Orka Collective. The like-minded, Eastern block natives draw inspiration from nature, animals, people, and magic in the creation of their predominantly black-and-white illustrations.

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Alexander Kostinskyi

Alexander Kostinskyi is a photographer hailing from Kyiv, Ukraine. His work is chilly, sparse and sometimes a bit strange. Some of his images give me the heebie-jeebies while others make me smile, all while retaining his natural untouched style.

Check out Alexander’s flickr, and hit the jump to see more.

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Kseniya Simonova’s Sand Painting

Speaking of art and sand…here’s an awesome video of the day. Kseniya Simonova is a 24 year old sand animator from Ukraine who began her rise to Ukraine’s Got Talent fame when her business collapsed. She’d been drawing for only less than a year when she entered the contest with her piece (animated portrayal of life during the USSR’s Great Patriotic War against the Third Reich in World War II) and won earlier this year. I guess we at B/D will just leave the granulated stone masterpieces to the pros.

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