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LES BARBES / DIMITRI TOLSTOÏ - 3D virtual exhibition by Avocado Gallery

LES BARBES / DIMITRI TOLSTOÏ

mar, 12/28/2021 to sam, 02/05/2022

curated by:

There are many legends about beards. In prehistoric times, scientists believed that men who had beards were to protect delicate parts of the face from cold temperatures. There have been many beliefs revolving around beards in different periods of human civilization. For instance, during ancient times, beards were not only used to give a unique appearance, but also to help identify men as leaders, warriors, and nobles. The beard was also considered a symbol of wisdom and strength.

Having Beard was common among artists: Beards and mustaches have been a source of inspiration during different decades. We can list world-famous artists, whose works depict the beard such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, etc. Definitely, in the modern world, the beard is still considered fashionable, it continues its "innocent" function to give mysterious charm to men while giving them confidence and an elegant appearance. But the question arises if we can define people who have beards?
Are they artists, politicians, poets, musicians, or just men who want to look fashionable?

Large-scale photographs of Dimitri Tolstoï give space to rethink the presence of beards on men’s faces. The specific close up of the photographs seem to strain the eye, focusing on the details which are usually unnoticed in everyday life. As Dimitri Tolstoï describes "They allow you to see what people do not see when they see a mustached or bearded man up close."

The photos uncover men of different nationalities. The photographer managed to draw the viewer's attention to the color, shade while using a specific zoom on these men’s faces, which usually would not draw any specific attention if not highlighting them as independent features of the face. Here, the photographer aims to distract the viewer from the beard for a moment, while creating a relationship between the "color" of the lens of the eye, to notice the different shades of gray, white, gold, without any help of a magnifying glass. Although depicted from the same angle, all the beards look differently presenting different identities, which provide room for the viewers to wonder about the mysterious characters who have their personal reasons to keep a beard on their face.

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