Monday 9 June 2008

Cara Phillips

New York based photographer/curator,Cara Phillips recently got in touch with me much to my delight since I am big fan of both her photoblog, Ground Glass and her personal work, in particular her cosmetic surgery project, Poignant Longings For Beauty, a small sample of which can be seen here below.

All images ©Cara Phillips

By way of personal statement she outlines her motivations behind this project as such:

"America's beauty culture is a complex and pervasive phenomenon. Its scope and power can be found in the many cyberspace forums devoted to the subject. On these anonymous message boards patients share their results, questions, and feelings. This easy access to information has triggered the rapid growth of the industry. In 2004, 12 million Americans had a cosmetic procedure and the numbers continue to grow. Today there is a never-ending array of tools and machines to make us beautiful. Patients look in the offices of Cosmetic Surgeons for the promise of happiness. Instead they often discover their own fears, self-loathing and anxieties. The American Society of Plastic Surgeon's website states that, "Even a small change on the outside can create an extraordinary change on the inside, allowing an individual's self-confidence to flourish." The message is clear - we can now reshape our characters with a scalpel or a syringe. This body of work coincides with a long and personal struggle with body and self esteem issues. But in photographing these doctor's offices, I have been able to conquer many of my inner demons and in the words of Susan Sontag make "familiar things small, abstract, strange and much farther away."
Last week Cara also launched Woman in Photography, an arts initiative which she co-curates with her pal Amy Elkins. WIPNYC showcases exciting work from female artists in the form of solo exhibitions that will take place every other Tuesday across different venues in New York. Their next show is on June 17th. Well worth a visit me thinks.