LA exhibition to explore beauty cult and culture

The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles will open an exhibit called
Beauty Culture on May 21, exploring the myths and legends as well as the perils of beauty and its industry.

Documenting the evolution of the definition of beauty throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the museum will display 170 photographs and more than 500 digital images by the world's most renowned photographers, including Herb Ritts and Man Ray and the contemporary David LaChapelle, Ellen von Unwerth, and Terry Richardson.

Opening a dialogue on the fascination of female beauty as well as the "cult-like glorification" and multi-billion dollar businesses surrounding it, Beauty Culture will show portraits and editorial images of the likes of Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox, the original supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, plus-size model Crystal Renn, the late Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, musicians Grace Jones and Madonna, and many, many more.

The proclaimed goal of the exhibition is to explore the "size" and "color" of beauty, different beauty concepts such as pin-up and pageants, the ongoing phenomenon of androgyny, and reasons behind beauty's eternal love affair with Hollywood and its icons.

"As much as beauty can astonish and inspire, it can also corrupt and subvert, rendering all else - and even itself - broken and obsolete," says Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. "The great contemporary photographers do so much more than chronicle and celebrate what is beautiful in our time. They dig beneath it, they confront our compulsion with it, and they turn art's mirror on ourselves as well. I can't think of a more important conversation for the Annenberg Space to have." 

The exhibition will run through November 27.

http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org

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