French photographer duo Bruno Metra and Laurence Jeanson (known collectively as Metra-Jeanson) have a compelling series that explores ideas about beauty–specifically of expectations and reality. In the set of sparse portraits, the duo shoot regular (albiet uniformly comely) people who have glossy, photoshopped magazine clippings taped over various features.
The photos provide an arresting juxtaposition between what is fake (giant, perfectly lit eyes with long, separate lashes, full lips parted just so) and what is real (bare faces, messy hair, unevenly plucked eyebrows, recognizably human skin tones). The resulting images are surreal and more than a little unsettling. Plus, we always appreciate an explicit reminder that the scrubbed, buffed, impossibly perfect images we see in magazines all the time are practically paintings compared to what human beings really look like.
Here’s a few more but please go have a look at their website to see the whole series.