NEWS: Jonathan Yeo @ The Bowes Museum | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Reduction Rhinoplasty (c) Jonathan Yeo Studio

Cosmetic surgery is often a divisive subject, with the quest for physical ‘perfection’ becoming one of the most pervasive topics of contemporary times. British portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, who is renowned for his acclaimed depictions of figures including Dennis Hopper, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai, has also been intrigued by the practice, exploring the concepts behind cosmetic procedures in his Surgery Series. Skin Deep at The Bowes Museum presents the first extensive look at this collection.

Skin Deep doesn’t aim to be shocking but instead examines the way we feel about cosmetic surgery in a subtler sense. Working from archival photos and through observing surgery first-hand, each of Yeo’s works depict both pre- and post-operative patients in the classical medium of oil paint, depicting the lines drawn on to the skin where patients’ flesh will be cut and transformed. Bringing together the traditional artistic method with cutting-edge medical procedures, he draws attention to the intricacy and precision that underlines how plastic surgeons transform the human body, as well as placing the connection between individual identity and one’s own appearance in the spotlight. Whatever your views on cosmetic surgery, Yeo’s works shed a fascinating light on the practice that’s more than simply skin deep.

Jonathan Yeo: Skin Deep is at The Bowes Museum between Saturday 10th March and Sunday 17th June.

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