01/06/2012 10:50 BST | Updated 01/08/2012 10:12 BST

Phillip Toledano's 'A New Kind Of Beauty' Exhibition Opens In LA

A new photography exhibition about to open in Los Angeles features subjects who have had extreme plastic surgery arranged in Renaissance style portraits.

Phillip Toledano, the man behind A New Kind Of Beauty, is inviting us to decide whether as a species we’re using science and technology to redefine our own idea of aesthetic beauty.

The initial reaction, from this writer at least, is a resounding no. The models, who have had a combination of collagen injections, nose jobs, eyelid lifts and breasts and pec implants look uncomfortable and unhappy, or as HuffPost US puts it, ‘almost inhuman’.


But could it be, as Toledano contends, that we’re simply at the beginning of an “amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture” that will eventually change what we perceive as beautiful forever?

The contrast with Renaissance paintings is clever precisely because it demonstrates that this has already happened.

It’s often observed that in previous centuries, men and women with fuller bodies were considered desirable, whereas today’s culture fetishizes slimness.

What A New Kind Of Beauty seems to be asking is whether cosmetic surgery is, to use an oxymoron, a natural part of this evolution, or an aberration?

What will our concept of physical beauty be in another 100 years time? Could the answer be in the photos below? Let us know what you think.

A New Kind Of Beauty will show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles between 2 June and 2 July.