“What would have happened if the aesthetic standard of our society had belonged to the collective unconscious of the great artists of the past?” asks artist Anna Utopia Giordano. Interestingly, Giordano is also a model. Whether or not that impacts your view of the pieces, her site is worth checking out.
Commenters on Jezebel say:
“This comment might strike some as bizarre, but I actually really enjoyed viewing these Photoshops. Just a few small alterations and the ‘shopper was able to “translate” seminal stylized depictions of the female form into the prevailing stylized female aesthetic. I feel like I’ve gotten to look at the paintings with fresh eyes and really see them the way they were meant to be viewed – as iconic and sexy. Say what you will about the prevailing female ideal aesthetic, but I enjoyed the trip” (Seize, Jezebel)
“And it reminds me that these were worshipful forms back then, largely because only the wealthy could achieve this level of voluptuousness. So I wonder if the masses of the time would also have wanted to decry it as an unachievable beauty standard?” (Mooooo, Jezebel)
The interesting thing is that these standards have completely reserved. You can maybe chalk it up to Whole Foods vs. McDonald’s dollar menu, or the fact that sushi and yoga tend to be pretty expensive while the invention of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) has made it super cheap to sell sugar-dosed foods.
I have to agree with it all–it’s a fresh perspective on an old classic. However, the irony of it all is that models who are that thin are photoshopped anyway. Other commenters weren’t quite as excited to see the slim-downs:
“I suppose this is kind of interesting, but I figured we had enough photoshopped images to make women feel inadequate and bad about themselves without altering older art, some of the few pieces of imagery that women have that make us feel that maybe having big boobs, a tiny waist, and an almost unattainable perky [but] are not necessarily the absolute definition of [normalcy] and beauty.” (Chelsey, Flavorwire)
Whatever your stance is on touching up the untouchable, I’d say the works are extremely successful given the cross-spectrum reactions people are having. See Anna Utopia Giordano’s portfolio here.