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About Face Changes Art Perspective, 5/01/2011
by Monique Frausto

Sophistication, glamour, and beauty oozed out of The Loft at Liz's in Los Angeles. On Saturday, April 9th, the "About Face: A New Perspective on Photographic Portraiture" exhibit opened. Renowned Fashion Photographer Wahb Mabkhout was one of nine photographers presenting their work.

 

Known for being one of the most experienced digital photographers, Mabkhout did just what the name of the exhibit implied-he brought a "new perspective" to traditional portraits.

 

Sitting in the corner of the crowded loft was a room dedicated to Mabkhout's portraits. There on the walls hung eight stunning black and white portraits of eight beautiful plus size models.

 

Reah Norman, Danielle Line, Audrey DeLano, Denise Bidot, Kelsey Olson, Davie Cabral, Heather Justice, and Rosie Mercado's faces were proudly displayed; reminiscent of the glamour in the 40's and 50's. The models sat poised in each portrait with a sense of confidence.

 

Mabkhout explains that his inspiration for this project came from a place of admiration for the curvy woman. It also came from the fact that photographers are being conditioned by the fashion industry. He say's it has directed their attention to consider thin women to be the ideal of what is beautiful, attractive, and seductive.

 

"My main concern is not only saying that curvy women are equally beautiful according to my taste or are even more attractive than thinner women. But, in actual fact my real concern is how the fashion industry has shaped our mentalities to think that size zero is synonymous of beauty.



Thus pushing many women to destroy themselves and their health by starving themselves and becoming obsessed with appearing very thin," stated Mabkhout.

 

Model Rosie Mercado believes that this exhibit is something that needed to be done. She said it makes a statement about photographers willing to express themselves regardless of other people's way of thinking.

 

"About Face has such a deep meaning to Wahb and his mission is clear and the purpose behind it is what inspired me to work with him," said Mercado. "This was a great opportunity to show the world that there are different women in the world. One thing is for sure, we are beautiful regardless of size, body type, or ethnic background."

 

As art lovers gathered around the portraits, it became apparent that it's time they finally got to see what most already know-curves are a work of art.

 

 


 
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