When I saw the art work Andy Massena made of my friend Steph (above) I fell in love! I wanted to know more about the project. Andy asked me to send a nude picture of myself. Honestly I was a bit hesitant because it felt weird to send a nude to an unknown man in Brazil. But I did it anyway… And I love the result!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and the ‘True Beauty Project’?
Andy Massena: “I am a Brazilian self-taught artist, I live in Rio de Janeiro and I’m an art director in the creative department of a big advertising agency. That´s how I make a living. I was always interested in art. I usually paint pictures, make sculptures and do some drawings. My artistic work is based on the female nudity and I really like to do it, I see it as a hobby.”
Why did your start this project?
“So, I work in advertising and I realized that doing advertisements with ordinary people was something almost impossible. Because when they accept work with an ordinary person usually they make a lot of changes through Photoshop. They manipulate the photo and the person suffers many changes becoming someone else, with a different face and shape. All these changes are made because they impose people to follow the standard of beauty but almost no one is included in these standards. Anyway, because of all those things I always opt for ordinary people in the castings that I select.”
What is true beauty to you?
“I hope to raise people´s awareness all over the world through my work. Real beauty is inside of each one of us. It’s not something physical. It also isn’t something we can see or touch. It’s in your inner self, really deep inside you: it’s your real essence.That’s why I opted for nudes. My intention was to equate and at the same time make women not feel ashamed about their physical shape. I personally believe that doing something like that is not easy, it has to be a collaborative thing. Each woman has a history, a different point of view and because of that I commited myself to doing one drawing per day during one year. I intend to publish a book containing all these illustrations with the texts of each model that I drew. The campaign is going to unfold the answer to the question: What is true beauty? Afterwards I will do an art exhibition to show people how beautiful they are and share their perception of beauty by their own words.”
Andy asked me to share my view on true beauty, this is what I said (my art work is below):
“True beauty to me is all about being true to yourself. Be real with who you are. Embrace your strengths. Be kind to your flaws. Learn to love your reflection. Give good energy to the world. Spread positive vibes. Don’t spend your life trying to fit into a smaller dress size. Don’t please in a way that makes you forget about yourself. Don’t give to others without checking your needs too. True beauty is the way you carry yourself. The way you give love. The way you receive love. Kindness is cool.”