Jan Saudek: the Imperfection Beauty

“If a picture doesn’t tell a story is not a photograph. Maybe it’s the story of all our thoughts, which ones become public and challenge stereotypes and  those ones that remain confined for shame.”

Jan Saudek’s photographs leave no one indifferent. They cause in the viewer  a visceral rejection or an unconditional appreciation. Underlining  the texture and the atmosphere of the landscape that surrounds the characters of the photos, Saudek has recreated a disturbing effect of violence and a unique expression. His themes are repeated obsessively. Through a cheeky use of sexuality (at the limit of pornography), he  gives a grotesque and symbolic vision of the relationship and sexual play managing to keep a poem, in the tragedy of contrasts and symbolic messages.  The human figure in its raw beauty or obscene truths,with her age, her cares of life and death through dreamscapes dream or nightmare.  Saudek ,with straightforward language and full of sensual charge, tells about the beauty of imperfection: very fat or very thin women, with stretch marks, cellulitis and sagging breasts. Thanks to his style, he became one of the first Czech photographers to be known in the West, even if it was the source of several problems with the communist authorities in his country.  But the originality of his photographic proposal is indisputable. It’s a desire to portray a different world, the extreme radicalism of his ideas.

Translated from Jan Saudek: la bellezza dell’imperfezione ~ Fotografia Artistica Blog G. Santagata

Perfectly Imperfect

Her face is asymmetrical, her teeth are a little ‘crooked, but they make her look younger (although a little vampire) and, at the age of 29, she already has some expression wrinkle. Kirsten Dunst, who won as best Actress at the last film festival of Cannes for her performance in Melancholia of Divon Trier, declares that it is the perfection to scare her and that it’s not fair to correct wrinkles andpimples with digital techniques to role in a film towards the audience. Sometimes it is better to accept ourselves as we are.
She remembers that when she was a young girl, her mother always scolded her because she never  valued her lips enough, which were too pale and thin. For this reason Dunst, does not go out without putting a beautiful lipstick. About the teeth, they have become a way to find out who is the real friend.
She said: “When people ask me why I didn’t repair my teeth, I get angry a lot. If I wanted to do it, I would have done, so why get bored if the other note my imperfection? Hollywood is already full of plastic and identical  people,I don’t want to be one of them. ”

kirsten dunstkirsten dunst

Perfection is in the Imperfection

The representation of reality sometimes touches on perfection. This is happens in the paintings of Omar Ortiz, an American painter who gives us a series of works that seem photographs and not paintings thanks to the great similarity with reality. Omar loves design and graphic communication and he has gradually shifted to oil colours, reaching a formal perfection level that today many teachers of 60s or 70s could envy, as Chuck Close. If you look  his paintings, you will be impressed by the authenticity of reproductions that don’t neglect even a single fold of skin, a little ‘hair or detail of asymmetry. In this way the whole is so alive as to appear real. The painter prefers naked women, that usually are covered with drapes, in which he finds all the elements of classic harmony and beauty. He is surely talented and he  is depopulating on the web. I wonder if Ortiz would be able to make beautiful even women  less divine than those ones that he paint?


Translated from La perfezione sta nell’imperfezione « It’s not plastic – Arte, Moda, Architettura e Design raccontati dal chirurgo plastico




Defects Make us Special

Finally we are out of those heavy years in which, to be beautiful, we had to answer to strict aesthetic rules. The tendency that finds beauty through acceptance and the emphasis of own defects is growing, because what we consider flaws are, in any case, elements that distinguish us and make us unique. So we have to learn how to recognize our defects and, instead hiding them, trying to exploit them and turn them into points of attraction.


The Greatest Perfection is Imperfection

To Aristotle perfect meant complete, nothing to add or subtract. To Empedocles perfection depends on incompleteness since the latter possesses a potential for development and improvement. Here lies the paradox formulated by Italian Renaissance philosopher Giulio Cesare Vanini. The paradox of perfection is that imperfection is perfect. Gianni Cipriano travelled around Italy researching imperfect beauties in six different non-conventional beauty pageants and applied a color symbolism to each one:

Miss Cicciona (Chubby), pink;
Miss Trans, purple;
Miss Mediterranea, yellow;
Miss Plastic Surgery, fuchsia;
Miss Drag Queen, orange;
Miss Over, blue.

Six imperfect beauties (due to their weight, clothes, excess of silicone, or age) if compared to the typology of beauty imposed by mass media and the consumerist society we live in. In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the 80’s, his media empire has introduced a culture of luxury and sex to shape his electorate. Italy became in the mean time a country where half-naked beautiful women are plucked from TV studios and elevated into powerful positions. This culture has generated an unprecedented wave of castings and beauty pageants for girls and women of all ages all over Italy. In response to the aesthetic and political state of my country, Gianni Cipriano worked on Perfect, a series of 36 photographs focusing on how the beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses, and on the link between imperfection and perfection.

Source: Perfect

Women’s imperfection

“The beauty is that square inch of skin that we see when we wake up next to our love.”     Inspired by this sentence of James Ballard, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, a british photographer, has collected an intimate gallery of imperfect women in ten years.  For the first time we have an inquiry about the beauty of imperfection female, close-up details and habitual gestures: stains, nose, gums, dark circles, minds and hair. With the project “ Muse” Bain Hogg took the details of ordinary women in his life: friends, family, coworkers. Portraits without pretense, manipulation or photoshop. The rediscovery of imperfection is an invitation to travel. In Italy, the beautiful girls today are beautiful all the same. The newspapers list the new and stupid surgery: create dimples in the cheeks, harmonizing the length of the toes, transplant the iris.  The photos of “Muse” portray defects but also the quirks, habits, habits of daily women, as those of which it is worth falling in love. “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack everywhere, that’s how the light comes.” Leonard Cohen

Photo: Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Translated from: Bellezza IMperfetta « Fotografia e Stampe su tela




In Praise of Imperfect Photos

In 1874 Monet painted a picture that will become very famous and  today it is known as the symbol of Impressionism. The painting was called “Impression: soleil levant“, and was included in a show that a group of painters such as Sisley, Pizarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Boudin and Monet himself had organized against the prestigious “Salon des Artists”. In his review, Luis Leroy, a famous critic, called these painters “impressionist” in a derogatory sense, and, speaking about the painting of Monet, he wrote that even a preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern seemed more accomplished than a seaside landscape. Today art history tell us that this man made a big mistake, but if we are honest it is a mistake that is understandable if we take into account the fact that the average taste of the time prevented him from considering a masterpiece in a framework when there was no detail and in which the strokes were just sketched.Besides, it wasn’t possible to think that a painting “en plein air” painted in one or two hours  could be more important than a landscape painted in a studio during many days of hard work and research of the particular. For this reason, the works of those artists called “impressionist” were systematically denied to the “Salón”, which was organized at the Louvre every two years.Thinking about a photo, we can ask what is it a perfect photo. Of course, perfection is a philosophical assumption, but the naturalistic photography has always looked for the photo virtually perfect, understood as the highest possible definition, diffused light that enhances the contrast and highlight detail, crisp, depth of field. There were even famous photographers and magazines that, twenty years ago or more, considered the sharpness as a rule, a “conditio sine qua non”.This rule applies even today, judging from what we can read on books and magazines. Sharpness, contrast, saturation, the contribution of focus: the Perfect Photo. But we can’t say that perfection is synonymous of expression or that it gives emotions, because perfection doesn’t always excite. Searching the Perfect Photo, we risk to forget that photography, as a figurative art, must express and excite, because otherwise it may only affect its author and not someone else. Perfect photos often are too clean, unreal and maybe as archetypes. These photos describe an interesting reality because they show what is not normally accessible to our senses, but without  any emotions. So the emotion doesn’t pertain to the sphere of knowledge, but to the feelings and experience. Perfection and emotion don’t always get along. Maybe the definition is wrong, we can’t give a definition of perfect photo because a photo or a picture can give an emotion that is not measurable and it is different for each one. We can say that a photo is perfect when it gives an emotion to people. It’ s a weak definition, but that’s all we can really say. 

Translated from: http://www.ormeselvagge.it/pagine/Elogio%20della%20foto%20imperfetta.htm

Defects of Stars

Perfection is boring. They are not the faces of plastic, all identical and inexpressive to remain etched in our memory. Of irregular features, a scar, a wide jaw: to make their mark are the unusual features that go beyond the classical canons of beauty, making it a unique face. Stars also have understood it, which they struggle more to correct their faults but make it your strength. Venus also had a small defect in the eyes!The secret of the appeal of Julia Roberts is all in his mouth with a smile that never seems to end, so much so that the actress has premunita to secure it to a value of 30 million dollars. Jennifer Aniston, thanks to her chin large and prominent, was released by the anonymity of the typical Hollywood blonde and won the title of America sweetheart. The same applies to Sarah Jessica Parker, which remains a style icon despite the nose important. Not to mention Christina Ricci and her doll face, with a forehead that only sometimes is hidden by a strategic bangs.A smile with perfect teeth, it’s just for advertising toothpaste. Among the people who refused to put the device without problems and show the space between her front teeth, there are also Madonna, Lara Stone, Anna Paquin and timeless Brigitte Bardot.Height is half beauty. Now we can look at Kylie Minogue. With its 1,52 cm tall, the Australian singer is a real “concentrate” of charm and beauty.Then there are defects that make sympathy, making the dive a bit more human. As the ears of Kate Hudson, or like Karolina Kurkova, the Victoria’s Secret angel with a statuesque physique but no navel. That’s right, is not the fault of a careless graphic that you got carried away with Photoshop, but an intervention who model has suffered when she was a child and that she left with the navel “polished”.Even Megan Fox is perfect as it seems. The American actress is in fact suffering from brachydactyly, a malformation that leads to the right thumb much smaller than the left. But with a face like that, who looks to her hands?


The strength of the imperfection

The beauty ideal, the beauty concept is changing. The pursuit of perfection has given way to a search of “imperfect perfection”, a flawless appearance with a defect that emphasizes character and personality.You are the most handsome uglyman that  I knew,” says the seductive Lupe Sino to the Spanish bullfighter Manolete  in the movie  “The Passion Within.” In this film Adrien Brody (who plays the role of Manolete) doesn’t pass for his beauty. His powerful noseoccupies the entire space of the screen, but it gives him an irresistible charm.Imperfections complete perfection. It’s a trend that comes from overseas. For years we have pursued an ideal of absolute perfection. Hollywood actors have tried to remove and straighten any wrinkles (and so the expression) with Botox and teethwere whiter than bleached white.The standard of perfection has become too perfect,” writes the New York Times in an article in the October 19, 2010, entitled”The teeth are becoming less perfect.”It isn’t the symmetry that makes a person attractive, but the perfect imperfection. The teeth may be also less white than one degree,and they don’t have to stand in line like the candles aligned. If it is aesthetically pleasing, it is even allowed a little gap between them.Now this principle of ‘perfect imperfection’ is accepted and in some cases even searched. Models like Lara Stone or the australian Jess Hart had given the trend of ‘separeted teeth’. For now, the media have been mainly focused on female beauty, but also in the male world it seems there arethe same rules.