Phil Toledano: A New Kind of Beauty





I started this work in the summer of 2008, around the same time as I was shooting days with my father I know it may seem odd, but the two projects are connected. After all, I was taking care of my 98 year old father, essentially waiting for him to die-and what is plastic surgery, if not the denial of death, and aging? (more)

I found my first subject, Allanah, on Facebook - she was a friend of a friend. I emailed her, and she agreed. As it turned out, she really loved the idea of the project, and helped me find many of the people I ended up shooting. That’s how I found people - everyone ‘had a friend who might be interested’

After long consideration, I decided not to include text with the images. The point of this work is not to point fingers, or to condemn, but to ask the larger questions about where we’re going.

Here’s the ‘official’ statement:

I’m interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves.

Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?

Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon’s hand?

Can we identify physical trends that vary from decade to decade, or is beauty timeless?

When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity?

Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? And if so, are the results the vanguard of human-induced evolution? As a race, is this the beginning of a new direction?