Holly Williams for Art-Sheep
Death is something all people fear, but have you ever thought how infinitely more difficult it would be to live with disfigurement and disability? In a society that tends to shun all that is different and define beauty in a very strict way, photographer Cyril Crepin chooses to capture people under facial reconstructive surgery. In her series Disfiguration Portraits, the French artist photographs patients that have had their faces significantly damaged and even though they are sometimes hard to look at, they are most shocking in the sense that they remind us of our own fragility and our own notions of what is considered normal.
“I took them like a fine art project to show to the world the beauty in these faces, to try to change how people see conventional beauty. Today it looks like our society thinks ‘ultra lifted’ faces are pretty, but they all look the same. Most disfigured people stay hidden. They don’t have any kind of social life because of the looks and the words of ‘normal’ people. It’s a shame. One of my models (who is a friend now) told me that one day when he was in the street, a guy crossed the road in his direction and told him, ‘how can you stay like this? Look at you! If I were you, I’d put a bullet in my head.’ This is the reality for these people. So the minimum we can do is to look these portraits and find a certain kind of beauty in them”, explains Crepin.