In the eye of the beholder

Whether shooting from the front line of wars in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan or being a fly on the wall backstage with The Rolling Stones or at cosmetic surgery clinics in Iran, Zed Nelson’s award-winning photographs have consistently succeeded in telling us something more than what we see. Of late, Nelson has focussed less on the dangerous side of his documentary work and more on conceptual projects that reflect wider issues facing western society. Gun Nation (2001) was a revealing and disturbing look inside America’s gun clubs and a meditation on a nation's relationship with its firearms. The book was published in twelve countries and won numerous awards.

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For his latest project, the London-based photographer has chosen beauty as his subject, a $160 billion a year global industry that, he argues, has become a new religion. Love Me is the result, a collection of stark, tender and private images taken on locations around the world. Nelson believes they demonstrate that “westernizing the human body has become a new form of globalisation. With ‘beauty’ becoming a homogenous brand.” Make up your own mind, by clicking here for a preview.

Love Me by Zed Nelson (Contrasto Publishing) is out now

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