Scary retouch magic

Francis found this one a while back. A digital artist named Greg Apodaca is not only a talented photo manipulation artist, he also happens to be great at putting together a site that effectively gives away his magic tricks. Like any good magician, however, he can confidently show you what he does, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it yourself. Look at his Digital Portfolio page. They’re all fascinating little studies, but the ones with people in them are the most remarkable. Look at the pictures of the women at the far right and far left of the second row. For a really disturbing treat, move the mouse back and forth quickly over the image so you get a grotesque little animation.

People like Greg are manufacturing what your notion of beauty is. The women in glamor magazines don’t exist; they are built in tiny digital factories by a variety of skilled artificers. The raw materials for this process may be real women, but the desire-inducing finished product can only exist in the ether. Does that make us happier or more miserable?

5 thoughts on “Scary retouch magic”

  1. Unfortunately, Ned, it makes us ‘think’ we are happier and adds to the collective discontent that has led to a plethora of makeover shows. What started as harmless room touch-ups has brought us to shows like Swan that people actually LIKE TO WATCH. It’s disturbing and I want out of it. WE are all trapped and it will take active rebellion in order to achieve even a modicum of change. Since, as a society, we are complacent and lazy, we are doomed.

  2. I’m catching a whiff of a Stevensonian warning of susceptibility to social virus (cf. “Snow Crash”) above.


  3. Happiness is measured in happyons, of course, and a small group of happyons is called a “lark of happyons.” A large group, naturally, is called an “exultation.”

    My honest answer to my little question above is that fantasy is a great thing for well-adjusted people. But what constitutes a well-adjusted person is the beginning of another riddle. Odysseus had the good sense to lash himself to the mast as he sailed past the Sirens. We should all be so clever.

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