Only Skin Deep

Ron Gershman and Sara Rytteke

This two-person show examines the media's depiction of "the model woman" and how it influences women's self perceptions. Giving a male and female perspective, both artists play with notions of beauty, glamour, and the signals that females receive on a daily basis from youth on.Ron Gershman

Sara Rytteke: You're Such a Doll

Rytteke focuses on the toys of girls' pastimes, such as paper dolls. By reinventing herself in the apparel of women throughout the decades, she calls attention to the extent that clothing and fashion trends sway female attitudes at an early age.

Our earliest influences are the toys we play with...they are our earliest role models outside our immediate world. The values of pop-culture play a part in our lives. Does the information change how we construct our identity? Is who were are the same as it was after the influence of culture?
— Sara Rytteke

Ron Gershman: The Secret Lives of Mannequins

Gershman's mannequins elicit a double-take, as their lifelike resemblance reinforces the façade of perfection. A closer examination challenges our perception further when secrets are revealed to us through wry captions that accompany the photos. Cheeky as the secrets may be, Gershman is attacking the dangerous misconception that beautiful people live beautiful lives and exposing the tension between our striving for a personal identity and the forces that compel us to social conformity. Surrounded by mannequin-like models, reinforced by endless digital retouching, our society has come to accept these artificial constructs as real representations of people.

These mannequins have reached the pinnacle of their profession. They appear in the main front windows of leading fashion and fetish boutiques of the world. The candid pictures were taken of them on an average day at work. None of these images were posed or staged and all were shot from the vantage point of the sidewalk, as they are normally seen. Insights and personal details were obtained directly from the mannequins. Although limited to non-verbal communication, with time and patience, a wealth of information was revealed about their private lives.
— Ron Gershman