VULNERABILITY IN BEAUTY In her art, Yvonne Michiels tells personal stories about beauty, emotions and mortality.She uses topical examples from modern society. This results in aesthetic, innovative portraits that are not only fascinating, but often also moving. Her works are characterised by the unusual techniques that she uses. As a result, they are surprising, continually revealing new dimensions and bearing a highly personal signature. Deceptive perfection Yvonne Michiels portrays highly fashion-conscious women who view the world with a confident eye. These women comply with the dominant ideal of beauty achievable through make-up, fashion and plastic surgery. They therefore look perfect. But appearances can be deceiving. The perfect facades conceal feelings of insecurity, despair and vulnerability. As slavish fashion victims, these women suffer from the compulsion to strive for the – partially self-imposed – ideal image. Beauty versus mortality The observer is directly affected by the strong emotional charge of the pictures. Vulnerability is a major theme for Yvonne, and is a recurring motif in all her work. In her latest work, she examines this theme from the viewpoint of the threats she increasingly sees people around her struggling with. Yvonne subtly ‘projects’ the threats on to her models, emphasising the contrast between beauty and health, on one side, and decline and mortality on the other. Looking longer, you will discover a tremendous stratification behind the pretty picture.