Cover Girl

There are more than 130 woman magazines in circulation worldwide. Most of them are featuring portraits of healthy (mostly young), beautiful and charismatic females advertising commercial products, services, know-how and live-how ideals. Undoubtedly, ever since the invention of the daguerreotype, what makes a successfully marketable portrait/cover is the physiognomic beauty and the emissive femininity of the featured cover girls. So inextricably linked are the face on the cover with the commercial output of a magazine that in colloquial language, we affluently use the term: “The Face of this or that magazine”…But how can a face speak of one’s identity? Is there any chance that the female face, under this context of branded femininity, is just empty of idiosyncratic substance? Is there a chance that the female face has become just another decorative element in the illustrator’s palette, there to sublimate a constructed beauty cannon for the masses and nothing else? If not, what is inherent in a face that could speak volumes about a woman’s identity? Is it a half Mona-Lisa-type of smile, a grim expression, a squirm or just the shape of her nose? To reexamine these Post-Renaissance, but still current questions and partake in the discussion in society around portraiture, femininity, gender, consumer culture and identity construction, I shot candid portraits of anonymous women in various places around the globe. I then proceeded with digitally compositing props around these women, in order to embed to them a false, quasi-semantic, quasi-purposeful identity.

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Yiannis Galanopoulos