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‘Doll Face’ premieres Sept. 22 at N’Namdi Center

Exhibit a commentary on beauty in media and culture

DETROIT — How many women go to a plastic surgeon and order Angelina Jolie’s lips, Kate Moss’s eyes or Keira Knightley’s nose? What if you could simply pick and choose what you wanted? If you could have all three, would the result be beautiful? Those are the driving questions behind “Doll Face” by artist Ben Sharkey.

“I first came up with the design in a sketchbook as a four piece collection of faces that line up with very similar features,” Sharkey says. “Almost as if the beauty in each painting was manufactured.”

The exhibition debuts Sept. 22 with an opening reception from 6-10 p.m. and runs until Oct. 6 at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest, Detroit.

The first of the now seven-painting series, “Figure 1. Caucasian,” features a figure bearing likenesses to all three female actresses’ most desired features. The proportions have been experimented with, and the youthful features that science has proven we are attracted to — large eyes, small nose, big lips, smooth skin — are exaggerated with scale and position. Each painting is rendered in oil and wax on a 6-by-4-foot canvas.

Sharkey explains the significance behind the choices of models within each painting: “My intent being to capture characteristics of the largest ethnicities: Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Northeast Asian, Indian, Arabic, Native American. Southeast Asian and Australian Aborigine.”

A portion of the proceeds will go to Nataki Educational Service, a non-profit 501(c)3.

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