Rachel Hovnanian's Artwork on Beauty's Dark Side

Artist Rachel Hovnanian Explores the Ugly Side of Beauty

Artist Rachel Hovnanian Explores the Ugly Side of Beauty

New York-based sculptor and painter Rachel Hovnanian has made a career out of exposing the worst parts of our society's obsession with beauty norms. The Texas native's work highlights everything from trophy wives (and husbands) to body dysmorphic disorder and beauty advertising. "[My parents] always told me that it's what's inside your head that counts," Hovnanian told WWD in a recent interview. "And I just turned to them one day and asked, 'How could you even say that? Of course it matters what you look like!'"

Her two latest exhibitions, "Too Good to Be True" and "The Power & the Burden of Beauty," both present a darkly humorous view on attractiveness, self-perception, and aging in the modern US. One of Hovnanian's recurring "products," a fictional brand called Texas Beauty Queen Cream, features many depressing slogans taken from actual beauty advertising: "Fix your face for good" and "Imagine . . . having the confidence to approach new people." It's an acerbic, provocative point of view that's definitely worth a second look.

Source: Rachel Hovnanian

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