Skin-deep beauty is in the eye of the beholder

In the heart of Joburg, German-born photographer Joerg Duske has sparked conversations of "fake perfection" through his latest artistic series.

In his new body of work, Skin Deep, SaySay.Love - a pseudonym he prefers to go by - challenges audiences to re-evaluate what they perceive as beautiful.

The 56 -year-old said his art pieces were deliberately manipulated to show imperfection. "These pictures take me on a journey into the deepest, darkest parts of my psyche. The place where all the pain, anguish and dark thoughts have at some point resided - the childhood bullies, the manipulators, the abusers, the people who willfully harmed for their own gain; my own dark desires, which at times are more fearful than living perpetrators," he said.

Using mannequins as the backdrop for his artwork, he photographs and uses an app, which he did not want to disclose to Sunday World, to disfigure the mannequins.

According to SaySay.Love, the mannequins symbolise the world we currently live in, and emphasise the disconnect from reality.

Skin Deep is a departure from his previous body of work, titled Intimate Loneliness: Sex with things, as he explores the darker side to identity.

"Their exterior represents a fake perfection of what women and men think they should look like, flawless with perfect smiles, living perfect lives we misleadingly portray on social media," he said.

He had two successful exhibitions in Stellenbosch and Cape Town and now it's Joburg's turn at the Agog Gallery in Maboneng from March 20 to April 30.

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