The Atlas of Beauty
The Atlas of Beauty is one of my favorites projects of photojournalism. It was created by the Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc, who travels almost half the year across the world to capture the essence of the woman's beauty.
We are not talking about the beauty that we can see in a Hollywood movie. Her project has to do with the real life beauty and normal people who you can find in the grocery or the supermarket.
I am not saying that one is better than the other. Just different, but I definitely prefer this.
I really like Mihaela's approach to show and reflect the female charming beyond the stereotypes. She built it in a delicate way, neither sexualized nor purely superficial, this human phenomenon. In some way, this is like some kind of ethnographic study.
I have enjoyed the project for two reasons. On one hand, the graphic quality. In some way, The Atlas is a set of faces, but not a typical one. Mihaela was raised surrounded by colors, because her father is a painter. You can perceive this artistic sense in her work. The light, expressions, textures… each element combines to create something special.
On the other hand, stories. Despite the fact this is not a literary project, you can see a personal signature. From my point of view, she has created an intimacy narrative, honest, no great pretensions. I really enjoyed the plain of her words, as a perfect complement of the graphic narrative.
Finally, I want to confess that my favorite piece is the Nujood’s photo-story. She is a woman from Saudi Arabia, dressed in a completely black islamic veil. Nujood is a painter, and has a hearing disability, according to Mihaela’s description. The photographer was waiting for hours to get the perfect sunlight to capture her beauty. And she really did it, indeed.