This Artist’s Powerful Project, Toy With Proportions, Skewers Fashion Imagery

Seeing familiar fashion ads, the ones usually populated with lithe models, recast with significantly larger bodies, is pretty impactful. Case in point: Istanbul-based artist Nur Gürel's Toy with Proportions series, featuring substantially manipulated fashion imagery (both ads and editorial shoots) in which the models' bodies are painted to look far more curvaceous. In a similar vein as photographer Nathalie Croquet's parodies of luxury ads last year, Gürel's work makes a powerful statement about the homogeneously slim women we're so accustomed to seeing in the pages of glossies (and beyond).
Gürel was interested in exploring "concepts of beauty and lifestyles which are regarded as ideal," and, specifically, retooling (read: pretty dramatically enlarging) what are commonly seen as aspirational body types in the series. "When I read the pages of a magazine which already had a manipulated [visual] language, I always saw the images of 'ideal women,'" Gürel told Refinery29. "These images [are] almost imposed on us. I manipulated the advertisement language by reversing this fact...I made very sexy women a bit fatter."
There are some iconic pages (and faces) in the mix, like Kate Moss' Stuart Weitzman ads and Heidi Klum's Jordache images, and a number of Vogue editorial shoots are skewered as well. But Gürel didn't solely pluck the imagery from fashion magazines to create Toy with Proportions: "I collected various magazines in different topics from secondhand booksellers," Gürel says. "It became a session of playing games for me... I first started to make the ideal women on the magazine pages a bit fatter."
Process-wise, Gürel layered oil paints over the ads, followed by a coating of a "resin-like transparent material"; she then encased some of the thoroughly retooled images in Plexiglass boxes. Image manipulation is Gürel's artistic M.O., in this project and beyond, and she "aims to create tension" with her work by "using contrasts such as inside-outside, photo-painting, digital printing-painting, town-forest, thin-fat," she explains.
Check out a slew of reimagined ads and editorial images from the series, ahead.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series