The self-taught photographer Danny Evans is fascinated by the ways in which celebrities are photoshopped and airbrushed onto billboards and magazine covers. In an attempt to subvert the image of the affluent, picture perfect star, he photoshops images of celebrities, reimagining them the average American citizen. In his words, his “make-unders” reveal “what’s left after Hollywood has been scrubbed off,” positioning pop culture icons within an almost stereotypical suburban landscapes, with outdated hairdos and all. 

 

The work is morally conflicting; on one hand, it’s admirable to disrupt the shiny facade with which we are presented images of the “rich and beautiful,” but it also reads as potentially mean-spirited. The pictures, without an explanation of the artist’s goal, look uncomfortably similar to hurtful tabloid images with captions that read “stars without makeup” or “what she really looked like in middle school.” 

Perhaps my distrust of the work is a testament to its success; maybe we’re not supposed to enjoy mocking celebrities and how they appear in photos, but instead to question our impulse to do so. We place stars on a pedestal, only to tear them down, often in cruel and superficial ways. Whether we’re photoshopping stars to fit a mold of idealized beauty or retouching them in ways our society deems “unattractive,” the doctoring of images is often exploitative and rarely empowering. The fact is that we’re all real people, regardless of profession or status, and everyone should be able to be captured on film without being judged. 

What do you think of Evans’s series? Is it a mean expression of the aggression we feel towards our celebrities or is it a more complex cultural critique aimed at the cult of conventional beauty standards? Let us know in the comments. 

 

Thanks to Huffington Post, Beautiful/Decay, and I Admit Beauty Exists

Images via Beautiful/Decay

Tagged in: robert pattinson, lady gaga, kristin stewart, kris jenner, kourtney kardashian, Kim Kardashian, khloe kardashian, jay-z, danny evans, celebrities, brad pitt, beyonce, angelina jolie   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




blog comments powered by Disqus
Facebook_websiteTwitter_websitePinterest_websiteRSS_websiteTumblr_websiteIG_website

Upcoming Events

Jessica Delfino & Dirty Folk Rock
August 28, 2014 (7:00 pm - 7:04 pm)
Perfect Pussy @ First Unitarian Church (Basement)
August 28, 2014 (8:00 pm - 9:00 pm)
Jessica Delfino performs at End of the Road Festival
August 29, 2014 (8:00 am - 9:00 am)
Perfect Pussy @ Ashbury Lanes
August 29, 2014 (9:00 pm - 10:00 pm)
Perfect Pussy @ Rock & Roll Hotel
August 30, 2014 (10:00 pm - 11:00 pm)
View Full Calendar

Shop The BUSTShop