Remember that trick you used to do as a kid, when you’d press you face up against a pane of glass so that you’d appear disfigured to delight or horrify the person on the other side?

Photographer Rut Mackel has revived the practice, though with slightly more noble aims.

“I wanted to challenge public perception of aesthetic appearance, to object the flattering and Photoshoped portraits everyone aims to produce,” she tells us about her project ‘The Ugly Truth’.

ugly truth The Ugly Truth?


“My photographs explore the side of people's faces they would rather hide from the public.

“The project aims to raise the question: how does our perception changes when suddenly aesthetic appearance of the face is changed - temporary or permanently?”

For Mackel, a self-taught photographer working in London, these portraits aren’t merely amusing but raise questions about our relationship with beauty and disfigurement.

Do you agree?

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  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits

  • The Ugly Truth: Photographer Rut Mackel Takes Disfigured Portraits


Mackel's work reminds us of Tadas Černiauskas's 'Blow Job' project:

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  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.

  • 'Blow Job' by Tadas Černiauskas. TADAO CERN studio.