America has a culturally accepted norm of what makes someone beautiful. For ages, popular culture clung to outdated standards that are hard to meet and narrow in scope: The light-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed beauty. But is that really what it takes to be attractive in America?
The American Beauty exhibition examines the relationship between race, birth-place, ethnicity and self-rated attractiveness. While past literature, publications and imagery explores the connections between identity, self-esteem, and attractiveness, it does not explore the intersection of different identifying characteristics.Group position and Colourism approaches provide the theoretical foundations for the hypothesis and the research conducted in this exhibition. These photographs also help explain why certain physical attributes are more valuable in American society. So how does the privileging of White America, specifically when measuring beauty, influence one’s opinion of their own attractiveness?
The photographs conclude that, being Non-White had little influence on one’s self-rated attractiveness. Similarly, birthplace and ethnicity had no statistical significance. However, the controls, age and sex, are significant. This exhibition explores the role identity plays in one’s view of their own beauty. Especially during a period of controversial leadership and drastic shifts in the social norms of society.
Ruben Natal-San Miguel is an architect, fine art photographer, curator, creative director and critic. His stature in the photo world has earned him awards, features in major media, countless exhibitions and collaborations with photo icons such as Magnum Photographer Susan Meiselas. Gallery shows include: Asya Geisberg, SoHo Photo, Rush Arts, Finch & Ada, Kris Graves Projects, Fuchs Projects, WhiteBox Gallery, Station Independent Projects Gallery, LMAK Gallery, Postmasters Gallery Rome & NYC and others. His work has been featured in numerous institutions: The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Griffin Museum of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, African American Museum of Philadelphia, The Makeshift Museum in Los Angeles, University of Washington, El Museo del Barrio, Studio museum of Harlem, The Museo Of The City of NY, Fitchburg Museum of Art, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Mint Museum, NC., The Musée De La Civilization, Quebec ,Canada and Phillips Auction House , Aperture Foundation, Rockefeller Center, NYC and a most recent Art & Design Lightbox Commission Project for the Metropolitan Transit Authority NYC Subway at Barclay’s Center , Brooklyn, NYC.
Ruben Natal-San Miguel : American Beauty
Until August 6th, 2021
Gary Marotta Fine Art g-1
162 commercial street
Provincetown, MA 02657