By: Mary Kate Dorr – Staff Writer
With airbrushed models from media sources urging women to look a certain (unrealistic) way, it seems like it has become a fad for women to pick apart their every “flaw.” Chicago photographer Tim Arroyo has premiered his exhibit “Metamorphosis: The Inner Beauty Project,” which will be displayed in ArtStreet Studio D until Sunday, March 16, to debunk the media’s skewed perception of beauty. The exhibit’s goal is to restore the idea of beauty in the minds of women by showcasing the beauty seen in all people.
ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca said the exhibit is a compilation of infrared photos taken of a variety of women who didn’t identify with feeling beautiful before the project. Arroyo chose 52 women to model for these photos to capture true beauty in its purest form. The women are not professional models, but ones who struggle to feel beautiful and love themselves, the way many women in our society do. ArtStreet is showcasing 16 of these photos.
“This is taking off the top layer,” LaDuca said. The photos neutralize the women by removing this top layer through the infrared camera.
Arroyo’s “Metamorphosis” comes to UD as part of the human rights theme this year to provide a new view on the idea of beauty within.
“Feeling beautiful is such a basic concept and it is not stressed enough,” LaDuca said. “We have looked at gun violence, human trafficking, and now we are looking at the media.”
Specifically, it looks at how the media has led to the corruption of women’s views of themselves and each other, and what the definition of beauty has become.
“[Arroyo] has a vision to create radical art that can change the world,” LaDuca said.
Both Arroyo and LaDuca identify with this exhibit on a different level, as the fathers of young daughters. In a world with such radical definitions of beauty, it can be a difficult place to raise a daughter to know what it means to feel beautiful.
“There’s all this pressure to feel and look a certain way,” LaDuca said.
Arroyo’s exhibit has chosen to focus on the inner beauty rather than the standard definition. The photos are meant to empower the women by capturing several straight shots of the women modeling, using the infrared to create a completely pure photograph.
“Women are special. You should be empowered to love who you are,” LaDuca said.
“Metamorphosis: The Inner Beauty Project” is a free exhibit held in ArtStreet Studio D Gallery. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (937-229-5101) for more information.