By Angela Romeo
There is a saying that warns us to beware of artist because they mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous. Artists reflect what they observe – sometimes it is a beauty and sometimes it is not. Often art contains an element of truth and thus of our humanity. Rob Lebow is one of those dangerous artists – mixing with all classes of society and challenging beliefs as to the essence of beauty.
Rob started his photo career in the Warner Bros. Feature Film Still Department assisting two Photo Editors. He was the Photo Editor for 20th Century Fox Films. He held Director of Photography executive positions for PolyGram Films, The Cimarron Group and Crew Creative Advertising in Los Angeles, CA. Rob has photographed advertising campaigns worldwide for 20th Television, AMC, Columbia Pictures, HBO, IFC, Jafra, Lionsgate, MGM, Revlon, TLC, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Weinstein Company and more. His work with The Gorgeous Project draws on those talents to create a unique perspective into the LGBTQ world that is still shrouded in stereotypes and innuendo.
Rob Lebow has focused on this community that crosses racial and socio-economic lines. This body of work depicts community empowerment, gender diversity and individuality. The Gorgeous Project is Rob’s collection of curated portraits & stories feature some of the world’s most visible LGBTQ advocates, artists and entertainers.
The Gorgeous Project challenges our definition of not only beauty but also the very illusions that the term “beauty” creates for us. “Gorgeous is an exploration of the power and true beauty that comes when one becomes fully self-realized,” said Rob. True beauty emanates from truth is self. It is that thing that Rob captures in these photos.
RuPaul’S Drag Race has brought the art of drag to the mainstream in a way few other artists have done. But shows like that and movies, like The Birdcage fail to capture something more important. The individual is seemingly lost to conformity – to fit the format, the subject must adapt. The Gorgeous Project strips the conformity to allow for the inner beauty, truth itself to be presented. That approach makes The Gorgeous Project unlike its predecessors – it proves the truth is more powerful than fiction.
Rob’s work for The Gorgeous Project is not just a coffee table book of portraits. It is an attempt to showcase that beauty is more than we think. Classical beauty and symmetry are tossed aside to showcase individuals who defy the norms. By doing so these people create a definition of beauty that transforms their everyday selves into something more extraordinary. Rob’s work captures the new paradigm and how we think to the term “beauty” is transformed.
“To show case individual desire of self-expression and to find support for that is truly gorgeous! This book is an expression for all who desire to be their true selves’ noted Rob. “This book is a bold statement that art reflects all beauty and that beauty is within each of us. We are still seeking sponsors and funding to bring The Gorgeous Project to a larger audience.”