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Pop Art and the Beautiful Silhouette city, state

Food for Thought

Despite all of our poetry, song lyrics, and fairy tales, the concept of beauty is fluid. What is considered beautiful in our society today may be very much the opposite in 3 or 4 decades. Some enduring concepts exist (hold out for the next BLOG post for more on this topic!), but even a casual glance around one of the country’s great art museums will rapidly demonstrate my point. Traveling from the Rubenesque nudes, with their voluptuous figures – round bellies, plump cheeks, full hips – to Post-Modern figure drawings or Cubist portraits – with their sharp angles, long and lean figures, and chiseled faces – we can see that over the course of a couple centuries, “beauty” transformed from one extreme to its opposite.

On a recent visit to Chicago, I was fortunate to see a retrospective of the works of Roy Lichtenstein at the Art Institute. Lichtenstein is a key figure in the Pop Art movement, and his work engenders reactions ranging from enthusiastic applause to utter detest. Perhaps most interesting to me were the facial features in some of his mid-career work (famous for looking like excerpts or stills of comic books or B-movies). The method of Pop Art is essentially incorporation of mundane things into a highly conceptualize or altogether different context. As such, Lichtenstein’s figures – his faces – were drawn quite literally from the popular media of the day (the 1950’s to 1960’s, mostly). This collection was a fascinating exploration of “what qualifies as art”. And the faces! Women with small, up-turned noses and big wide-open eyes. Men with strong, square jaws, thick eyebrows… and stern looks.

It is interesting how stereotypical or ideal female and male forms can be captured as single black line silhouettes. This may be obvious to any comic book enthusiast, but in the world of “fine art” it is quite unique. Equally interesting is how some of the aesthetic ideals of female beauty have changed over the past 50 years – in some cases, multiple times. Nose size, nasal tip contour and rotation, eyebrow position and thickness, lip fullness, etc., etc. For sure, there are some constants – a crisp contour between the chin and the neck, for example.

If you’re in Chicago before September 3, it’s definitely worth checking out. If not, there are some Lichtenstein pieces in the permanent collection at the SF MOMA ( Who knows what will be “beautiful” in 2060!?

Our Patient Reviews

San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive & Laser Surgery

5 / 5.0

Based on 23 reviews

Christina G.

I had several nasal/sinus issues including a severely deviated septum and a dorsal hump, which I wasn't crazy about. Dr Ransom did both the medical and aesthetic parts of my surgery and he did a wonderful job! While I did have some swelling, I didn't experience much bruising at all. I loved that he left the natural look of my nose just making small corrections. My breathing has GREATLY improved. His office staff was super helpful in scheduling and making sure payment and everything was very clear. I am very, very, very pleased with my results!!

Tk I.

I had a terrible surf accident in Bali and needed to get 50 stitches to repair what the reef did to my face. I had emergency cosmetic surgery in Bali the day of the accident. Immediately when i got back to the states i was introduced to Dr Ransom through some mutual friends. I was searching for the best cosmetic surgeon in San Francisco to help in my recovery. He and his team have been amazing! he helped establish a plan for my post-op wound care/treatment and administered some initial laser treatments. Dr Ransom and his team are extremely knowledgeable and very patient / helpful. I am very grateful for their help and support. I am finally looking normal again!

Joey B.

I had three issues with my nose - which inhibited my breathing: 1- broken nose, 2 - narrow nostrils that collapsed when I inhaled through my nose, 3 - deviated septum. When I was living in New York, I went to see a doctor about my breathing issues, and he said my skin was too thin and there was likely nothing he could do to rectify the problem. Dr. Ransom was recommended by an ENT I saw through One Medical. As soon as he saw him, he said he could easily fix my nose, and remove the bump that had formed from the trauma. His confidence and strong sense of self immediately put me at ease, and I had little doubt that he could accomplish exactly what he promised. He showed me a modified picture of my nose , and really liked what he proposed. The end result very closely matched what he promised. Not only can I now breath much more easily through my nose, it looks much better. He managed to make it look like an improved version of itself, however I still look like me, and unless I tell anyone I had it done, it's not overly noticeable, which I prefer. I'm pretty vain and very critical, and I can say that Dr. Ransom is great, and comes highly recommended.

Edward T.

Doctor Evan Ransom took my surgery on relatively short order and did a wonderful job. He is very talented and has a nice friendly professional support staff. I can not thank him enough, he was calm, caring, professional and interested in the follow results of his work . He seemed to bring a certain artistry to the profession.

Lisa C.

Dr. Ransom is a talented physician. He is knowledgeable, professional and goes the extra mile to make you feel comfortable during your treatments. He has been blessed with an artistic eye which brings wonderful results. I highly recommend Dr. Ransom and would refer all of my friends and family members to choose him as their physician.

Cheryl H.

Dr Ransom is very kind, honest, and conscience doctor. I was referred by my best friend, she is also Doctor Ransom patient. She has so much good things said about Doctor Ransom. So I had a face lift done by Doctor Ransom on July 2015. He did a wonderful job on my face and I have a lot of compliments on my face. So if anyone want to get their face done. I would highly recommended Doctor Ransom to you. I give Doctor Ransom a five stars.

Jill P.

I have currently been getting botox regularly with Dr. Ransom and he does a fantastic job. My previous doctor's office moved to another location where it was no longer convenient. I didn't realize what I was missing until I went to Dr. Ransom. I felt really comfortable, but most important he did a terrific job blowing my previous doctor out of the park. (Sometimes it's good switch it up a bit to make sure you are getting the best treatment.) On top of that, Dee the office manager is an incredible asset to the office. She personalizes your visit and relationship with the office to an extent I have never experienced before. I even get follow up calls to see how I am doing after a treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Ransom for his great work, and his team's impeccable customer service.

Arielle C.

Dr. Ransom and Dee are the BEST! Whether it's aesthetic or reconstructive, I'd trust him over and over again with my face.