top of page

Constantinos Papadoukas

'Procrustean Symmetry'

Procrustean Symmetry comments on the stereotypes of bodies, of proportions, of ideals and standards. The piece references myths, the golden ratio as well as children toys.


Although physical beauty is viewed as superficial and subjective, strong stereotypes of what is considered pretty are shaped at an early age. Children come across the notion of beauty through their favorite toys - figures and dolls. Traditionally these include slender female bodies with exaggerated characteristics as well as muscular male characters with idealistic proportions. These stereotypes are further heightened in our ego centered age of social media.

Social media sites make more than half of users feel inadequate, according to a survey of 1,500 people by disability charity Scope, and half of 18- to 34-year-olds say it makes them feel unattractive. 

The wearable art collection Obscure Anamorphosis uses recycled toys, wood and precious metals, as metaphors to comment on the formation of stereotypes on beauty as well as the extreme appreciation of external characteristics. Fragmented body parts are reassembled into compositions that celebrate the notion of beauty amidst the golden ratio and vanity. The effect is at times humorous while in others, cynical and provocative. Can beauty be molded by archetypes?

Procrustean Symmetry is based on the Greek myth of Procrustes who used an iron bed to measure travellers’ dimensions and then stretch or hammer them to fit his ideal proportions. The golden ratio displayed on a silver disc in the canter of a tombstone shaped form.

This piece is available for sale: $720AUD


bottom of page