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   Undertoad  Thursday Aug 7 05:53 PM

8/7/2003: Haunting mannequins photographed

<b><i>Cattle Call</i></b> (c) Barbara Abel 1995

Photographer Barbara Abel apparently found a treasure trove of antique wax mannequins, and the Tragic Beauties section of her website is a gallery of the results. They're haunting because, well, let me take the words from the site itself:

Unlike the frozen, lifeless mannequins of today, these European busts were posed for, many at the turn of the century, by flesh and blood women. Made with human hair, each strand inserted with a hot needle, teeth made from denture material, glass eyes, and realistic expressions, these figures possess a haunting, enigmatic aura."

Yes indeed, and check out the page for more examples. Fine work. Hat tip to Slithy Tove for noticing this and passing it along.

Emrikol  Thursday Aug 7 05:59 PM

Who ya gonna call?

reminds me of this haunted ebay painting. I don't know much why, but it does. I think I'm just a little frayed at the edges, since its almost quitting time for the day and all.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Aug 7 07:38 PM

Great find,UT. Some of the mannequins look like they are obviously much newer but the old ones are haunting. Like real people, most are one detail short of beautiful.

Emrikol, that painting was ok until I clicked on the closeup of the boy and then it struck me. That's George W. Bush!

Emrikol  Thursday Aug 7 08:21 PM

too much time on my hands

Wow! That's amazing! I think you're right.

I think we need to do some testing to find out:
here we have a photo of both the painting in question (left) and a young Dubya (middle).
If we desaturate the painting, and take the picture of Bush, and overlay it with a 50% alpha blend, we can see that they match up quite well. If the picture of young George was better (if he were facing straight foreward and wasn't smiling) then I am sure that it would match up.

Leah  Thursday Aug 7 09:27 PM

spooky, but some of those mannequins look like old primary school teachers I had.

The resemblance between Bush and the boy in the picture do look alike.

Elspode  Friday Aug 8 12:04 AM

The mannequins are *awesome*. What a terrific photo score, UT.

Tobiasly  Friday Aug 8 08:47 AM

Re: 8/7/2003: Haunting mannequins photographed

Originally posted by Undertoad
Unlike the frozen, lifeless mannequins of today...
Not all mannequins of today are frozen and lifeless!

chrisinhouston  Friday Aug 8 09:05 AM

The only thing I can't figure out is that all of the lovely ladies look so turn of the century but how in the heck did Mr. Spock get in this group? Was it that episode where they chase Dr. McCoy back in time?

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Aug 8 05:00 PM

There was a couple on that page that looked like the 70's. I think that's when they started puting nipples on mannequins.

warch  Friday Aug 8 07:33 PM

I love the variety in their faces. I think about the women (and men) who have plastic surgery to remove the bump on a nose, or trim a chin, or dental work to create unreal teeth. Creating a highly forgetable perfect face. What a loss of individuality.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Aug 8 07:57 PM

Well put Warch.
I said one detail short of beautiful when I should have said one detail short of forgettable.

ndetroit  Saturday Aug 9 01:53 PM

and yet, all the "psychology of beauty and attraction" research seems to point to the fact that "perfectly average" is the most appealing facial and body type..

IE: if you take a composite of 4 female faces, it will be more beautiful than the average person. If you take a composite of 8, it will be even more beautiful, and so on, etc.. And furthermore, if you take that AVERAGED face, and then exaggerate the sex-based features of it (ie: make it more "womanly" or "manly" it becomes further attractive..

I remember that discover had this sort of haunting face on its cover a few years back, it was a composite of a few thousand female faces.. I couldn't find it, but did find this link, which was a pretty neat read:

I particularly like this quote:

Halle Berry's flawless skin may rivet moviegoers because, at some deep level, it persuades us that she is parasite-free and consequently good mating material.

tee hee.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Aug 9 03:59 PM

Interesting Ndetroit but then how do you explain Julia Roberts or Sophia Loren or ......Me?

Bitmap  Saturday Aug 9 06:29 PM

the one in the middle looks like the girl (Rory; Alexis Bledel) from Gilmore Girls:<BR>

spooky (*shudders*)

Uryoces  Saturday Aug 9 06:43 PM

Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Interesting Ndetroit but then how do you explain Julia Roberts or Sophia Loren or ......Me?
Bruce, you are a modern art masterpiece! It was the gamma-radiation experiment...

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Aug 9 10:08 PM

Dr Moreau said he liked me best.:p

Uryoces  Monday Aug 11 05:30 AM

Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Dr Moreau said he liked me best.:p
Walk upright and don't eat meat ... One out of two ain't bad!

russotto  Monday Aug 11 02:29 PM

NDetroit, you're oversimplifying your own link; the average of a bunch of attractive faces was a more attractive face, but emphasizing the feminine features of the composite made the face even more attractive.

Betcha the average of a random sample of faces would NOT be nearly as attractive as a sample of attractive faces. And if averageness was the key, that would be the case.

russotto  Tuesday Aug 12 10:15 AM

Hey, I just noticed that Discover article has some dirty poetry quoted in it:

Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser more than 400 years ago pegged the emerging scientific thesis: "Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind."

Nice, slipping that one into what's supposed to be a family magazine.

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