Are We Creating a New Kind of Beauty Through Plastic Surgery?

K. Mathews on 18 May 2012 at 12:00pm

Toledano plastic surgery   plastic surgery art


Browsing through RealSelf reviews, you’ll see a lot of patients referring to their doctors not just as surgeons, but artists. With that in mind, it’s not that much of a leap to turn plastic surgery into literal art – you know, the kind of art you hang in a museum or gallery. That’s precisely what photographer Phil Toledano, perhaps better known simply as Mr. Toledano, did in his collection “A New Kind of Beauty".

“I’m interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves,” says Toledano on the inspiration for his work. “Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?”

Toledano’s photos depict people who have surgically altered their natural form into something less familiar. As with any piece of art, emotions and interpretations are bound to vary. A photo that seems grotesque to one person may be empowering to another.

Toledano appears to be trying to portray a recent evolution in aesthetics more than providing a concrete opinion on cosmetic procedures. “Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty,” he wonders.

Throughout his career, Mr. Toledano has tried to present photographs that keep audiences thinking. True to form, his artist statement for “A New Kind of Beauty” is less of a statement and more of a question, with the majority of sentences ending in question marks. He asks, “When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity?”

How would you answer his question? What do you think of this collection?

Comments (4)

To fix something from an injury, birth defect, or other surgery, yes they are artists. This nonsense of implants, lifts, tucks, liposuction, nips, and everything else, they are not artists. I can spot plastic surgery work, good or bad, at 100 yards. They aren't fooling anybody. And personally, if you can tell someone's had work done, it's hardly worth it. Same with veneers on their teeth, they're not fooling anybody with those, either. Half of the people who have work done look like they should be in the side show at a Ringling Brothers circus.
i'll go with it, but it's interesting how these folks look very futuristic, and almost embody what we would perceive higher life forms to look like, in my opinion.
From my personal experience my surgeon is an artist. He took what was a horrible breast reconstruction job from a previous surgeon and turned my breast into a thing of beauty literally. Thank You Dr. Mark Pinsky.

Interesting, I was just talking about this very same subject today with a colleague.  A plastic surgeon is DEFINITELY an artist, or will possess an artistic sense in my opinion.  You are creating or enhancing beauty which is a true form of art.