Cat Palmer: Age of Aesthetics 

Through Friday Dec. 10 @ The Hive Gallery

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Aesthetic sensibilities have become increasingly refined in fine art and, arguably, pop culture as well. But, living in an age of aesthetics also means we have tilted the scales of the classical “truth and beauty” dialectic in favor of the latter.

Ogden-based photographer Cat Palmer isn’t the first artist to examine our obsession with beauty under the camera lens, but her show The Age of Aesthetics is a compelling take on that theme. Her strong black-and-white compositional sense is brought to bear on 14 women who have shaved their heads for the shoot, as Palmer says, “showing how beautiful women can be without hair.”

But it’s also a statement about how women—and people in general—can find a sense of strength without conforming to traditional aesthetic values. Beauty is more than skin-deep, and doesn’t stop at the level of the follicle—the subjects of Palmer’s photos radiate a beauty from within that goes beyond the purely aesthetic. This decision to alter their appearance will be with these women after the exhibit as they go out into the “real world.”

The show is also an attempt to provide inspiration to women who are losing their hair as a result of cancer treatments. One of the women who participated—in “Heal Courageously,” pictured above—just finished her last round of chemotherapy for breast cancer, and representatives from Huntsman Cancer Center were at the exhibit’s opening.

Cat Palmer: Age of Aesthetics @ The Hive Gallery, Trolley Square, 505 S. 600 East, 801-510-0827, through Dec. 10, free

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