Models and castings; working with models agencies and doing castings have always fascinated me beyond being just a job, but I have also been blindly unknown the reason of that until recently I found out why. Growing up collecting Interview Magazine, the magazine founded by the american artist Andy Warhol in 1969, I sharpened my artistic sensibility by learning through the magazine’s interviews, Warhol’s screen tests and all of his work concerning castings. Evidently, that was a perfect way to explore and understand human condition, and show the side of the people of which I find interesting.
Working with models I’m very little worried about how they look. They could be perfectly fit for the casting or close to a certain stereotype; however, I’m more fascinated with their personas shaped their young age by difficulty from the modelling work. On the other hand, working for advertising campaigns and fashion editorials, I have influenced by certain mindsets and biases on how the mainstream media has chosen the it-girl’s faces. The faces that are so-called “the standard of beauty”. Conflicting with my line of work, I have never liked the idea of the standards of beauty, or even worse “fashion trends”. What I constantly found working with models with great potentials is that they are put aside simply because they don’t fit certain commercial standards. The standards someone from somewhere have decided for other people. For instance, the Korea trend of having oval face, white skin and big eyes is today’s standard of beauty in Asia. Within just a few years, the perception of the “beautiful Asian girl” has become the only way to perceive beauty in Asian magazines, music videos and TV programs. This soulless, plastic and totally artificial way to see women becoming robot dolls mechanically and unemotionally dancing and singing shadows over any other potentially amazing model/actress who has fantastic personality, unfolding uniqueness and actual talent.
“Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.”
Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality
This sadness doesn’t stop spreading only in Asia,. In America for many years the standard of beauty was shaped by the large numbers of Brazilian and Russian models that were selected mostly because: tall, slim and cheap. I have nothing against Brazil or Russia, actually many models in this book are from this two countries but I do like to point out that the foundation of our westerner perception of female beauty is largely shaped by a commercial selection rather than an artistic choice. This selections have made what we think is the beauty of a woman today. I will love to see more kind of beauty, different kind of personality and I’m sure the future will need inspiration rather than mere appearances. There are people that have a unique beauty, a personality like no one else that today are cutted off the mainstream. Most of them don’t even try to become a model because they know that if you don’t have certain numbers you can’t even try, this is very sad and not only for them but also for anyone else who hope to be inspired and represented. The way I’m shooting for this book have no Photoshop work, no skin retouch and I’m using only natural light on a grey wall. I don’t want people to see what they know, I want the people to see something else, themself.
Photography by Mattia Baldi
The book will be completed and published around December 2019
www.mattiabaldi.com for inquires: firstname.lastname@example.org