‘The images we take of ourselves have gone from less than 20 a year to sometimes thousands a month, on some cases.’ Out of a desire to subvert current beauty standards in photography and confront the de-humanisation that it has created. Proliferation of social media has altered the way we interact with culture and each other. but also sits alongside how the standards of beauty that were previously applied to models in magazines now extend to the images presented by the public.
Fresh Meat is the appropriately direct title of a series of photographs created by the art duo SHSadler. The images show models’ faces, fully made up, lopped off and packaged in plastic like the pork chops you might buy at the supermarket. Barcode labels list the women’s names (Miki, Adelina) and “added ingredients” (Eyes: MAC Blue, Tom Ford Shadow Extreme, Urban Decay Bleached Eyeshadow Pallette). The effect is eerily realistic – if you could buy pieces of very pretty human at your local discount market, this is what they would look like.
The idea was Julia SH’s – the Swedish-born half of the Los Angeles-based artistic duo – and came about in part as a reaction to today’s smartphone-enabled oversaturation of skin-deep imagery. “This idea evolved out of a desire to subvert current beauty standards in photography and confront the dehumanisation that it has created,”
‘I thought it would be appropriate to superimpose the faces of the models onto slabs of meat in a supermarket to draw attention to the unsustainability of the current trends, Just look at the expiration date. (“4 issues” is subtly marked in blue on each label).’
‘We ended up using a rig to hold the plastic, and we pushed the faces against it. We had bought some supermarket plastic-wrapped meat. It was sitting there and we kept trying to figure out how to reproduce the elements with faces. ‘Oh, it needs condensation.’
In the end, they shot upwards of 700 frames in their quest to get images that are as real as possible, and made discoveries like the fact that once lips contact plastic wrap, “they stick like glue.’
Model: badw0lfy, Miki Hamano, Adelina Novak, Eromomen
Makeup: Satya Linak
Makeup Assistants: Alisa Yasuda, Tyler Thompson