Point Park student Hannah Altman’s photographs are haunting and worthy of attention beyond her city campus. Now her series titled And Everything Nice has caught internet fire, with recent features in Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan and Ashton Kutcher’s Aplus.
In the series of photographs, the 19-year-old artist replaces women’s bodily fluids with glitter in a commentary on the “unreasonable standard of beauty.” The photos arrestingly convey the consequences of keeping up with the media-fueled demands of beauty.
The photos depict blood, tears and vomit in sparkle. A razor smeared with red glitter. A woman next to a toilet filled with green glitter. Painted nails dripping glitter over a sink.
The images provoke visceral emotion—and beg the question as to why we do this to ourselves. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Altman says, “women have been conditioned to go to any length in order keep up an attractive appearance. The project is meant to raise the awareness of such a ridiculous standard, and to question its morality.”
Altman adds, “The ongoing series consists of women in states of affliction. The body fluid of the models – which includes blood, tears and vomit – has been replaced with glitter in order to visualize the concept of girls invariably needing to seem attractive regardless of what is actually happening in each scenario.”
April Friges, one of Altman’s professors at Point Park University, commends Altman’s work and her use of social media as a virtual gallery. “Hannah’s project is incredibly important to the issues of feminism and is appropriate because it raises a lot of questions within her own generation. The use of social media platforms, which targets her specific age group to get her point across, is just one way conceptual photography can exist on a higher level (rather than that of a typical art gallery).”
Friges underscores not only the reach that social media has afforded Altman’s work but also the opening to a wide ranging platform for debate. “What I find most fascinating is that Hannah’s generation literally moved her work. With so many people viewing and sharing, she is getting many more opportunities for her art to be found by people who embrace these social political concepts.”
“Her visual language has effected so many, and has sparked a lot of criticism on these sites as well. This criticism has created a lot of debate on our campus, not only about how men perceive women but how everyone perceives women. Some of the harshest comments are from of those who identify as female!”
Taken in her dorm room, the photographs were a personal project of the Altman’s and the series has received over 350,000 notes on Tumblr.
Friges adds, “Myself, my colleagues and Hannah’s peers are incredibly proud of her and are excited to see what the next couple of years are in store for her work.”