With Both Sides Of, New York City based photographer Alex John Beck tests our definition of beauty. Inspired by the theory that symmetrical faces are the most attractive, the artist constructs a pair of entirely symmetrical portraits drawn from a single visage, one made from the model’s lefthand side and its mirror reflection and the other from the right half. By definition, these uncanny faces each represent the height of physical perfection.
When confronted with Beck’s images, we might try to construct the actual human face, splicing the two halves together in our mind’s eye. The photographs, however, disallow us from completing this task; despite our efforts, we recognize the portraits as two separate and irreconcilable people. Over the course of human history, we have (often prejudicially) ascribed moral characteristics to facial features; plump cheeks indicate warmth and compassion, where an angular face expresses intellectual cunning. If no face can be entirely symmetrical, then do we contain within our features two distinct selves, warring with one another for recognition? Take a look, and check out Beck’s Instagram for more.