Do Models Have Souls? questions the nature of truth, and our perception of beauty. We live in an age of technological wonders where often the facsimile of something can be more compelling than the original. The media project to us idealized images of what we are told we should be. Slim, perky, flawless, shimmering, perfect.
But what is perfection?
This series comprise photographs of anatomically detailed mannequins, beginning dressed and perfectly coiffed, then naked next to each other, and finally interacting only as body parts. These were photographed over a twelve-year span covering New York and Toronto fashion weeks, store window displays on three continents, and in-studio fabrications.
The photographs have been digitally painted to remove seams and metal joints from the models. Digital micro-pointillism painting is achieved using traditional processes of “dodging” and “burning” as well as modern techniques such as “slice”, “clone” and “heal”. The painting methods as well as the finished images are integral in the process of exploration.
In some photographs it is obvious that the image is of a manufactured persona, in others the truth is not so obvious, until the viewer is left with a lingering suspicion. Is beauty only skin deep? Does that change when the skin is fiberglass and painted acrylic? In short, Do Models Have Souls?