Anomaly means a deviation from the norm—oddity, peculiarity, abnormality. In Ayla Reyes’s undergraduate thesis, she spins the term into a portmanteau: anong mali, translating to “what’s wrong” in Tagalog, is an intentional wordplay. With this project, she questions whether physical differences truly detract from a person’s beauty, and her photos look to redefine the skewed standards of beauty pushed by the mainstream. The series recreates classic artworks using models with physical disabilities and attributes. Through these images, she looks to spotlight diversity and promote inclusivity in Filipino society.
“异常（Anomaly）”一词意味偏离常态，即古怪、奇特和不同寻常。Ayla Reyes 在自己的本科论文里，将这个词变成一个新的拼缀词“anong mali”，在他加禄语中意为“出了什么问题”，这是她刻意而为的文字游戏。在她的摄影系列中，Ayla探讨了这样一个问题：身体的异常是否有损一个人的美？通过这个系列，她希望能改变主流所推崇的审美标准。该系列邀请了多位残障人士重新演绎古典艺术作品，以展示美的多元化，同时尝试倡导着包容的核心。
Reyes majored in advertising arts for her bachelor’s degree. Her studies focused on the creative and conceptual side of advertising, and for her undergraduate thesis, she opted to put together a photography exhibition. “While brainstorming the concept, I saw that classic art usually depicted the same kind of people: fair-skinned, full-bodied, the same kind of Eurocentric features,” she says. “These art pieces were considered the ideal beauty standard for centuries, and eventually evolved to modern mainstream media as time went by. To this day, popular media still glorifies these features, and that did not sit right with me.”
Ayla 本科主修广告艺术，学习广告创意和概念。大学临毕业前，她选择举办一场摄影展。她说：“在进行概念构想的时候，我突然发现，大部分古典艺术作品所呈现的都是同一类人：皮肤白皙、身材丰满、拥有欧洲人的五官特征。几百年来，人们视这些艺术作品为理想的审美标准，并一直影响到现代。时至今日，大众媒体仍然以这些特征为美，但我觉得这是不对的。” 很快，她决定向这种传统审美发起挑战。
She’s taken note of the underrepresentation of thousands of body types, skin types, disabilities, and different kinds of attributes, realizing that having an “ideal” standard hardly makes sense. “Living in the Philippines where colorism and other exclusive perspectives on beauty and perfection are rampant, pursuing this type of subject matter felt like an important task for me to do my part in shutting down these harmful ideas and celebrate a more diverse take on beauty,” Reyes explains. “With all this in mind, I thought it would make a strong statement to juxtapose classic art with persons with physical disabilities and differences by having them reinterpret the art.”
Reyes held a casting call for her “muses,” a term she’s employed for the models of this project. She feels that the term is especially apt, considering that they’ve shown her what beauty means. She’d found some of her muses through her friends, while she met the rest online by joining different groups on social media. She wanted to represent as many kinds of bodily features as possible. Various skin conditions, limb deficiencies, and other disabilities are all celebrated in the project. “After finding them, I got to know them and their stories before I decided which artwork would best suit them according to their personal experiences,” she says. “Given that none of them were professional models, most were understandably shy at first since they’ve never done anything like this before, but I made sure to be transparent with every plan I had; anything that anybody was uncomfortable with was immediately scrapped.”
The 11 individuals she chose were all paired with iconic artworks. In Reyes’s remakes, she drew parallels between the models’ personal experiences and personalities with the corresponding artwork.
Hiking is one of Rose’s favorite activities. She’s already climbed some of the biggest mountains in the Philippines including Mt. Daraitan, Mt. Apo, and the Sleeping Beauty Mountain in Kalinga where she got a hand-poked arm tattoo from Apo Whang Od. Her love for mountaineering never dwindled even after she lost her left arm in a bus accident a few years ago. With her grit, determination, and passion for hiking, Reyes believed she was best represented by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility, war, and the sea, which appears in Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch.
她所选出的十一组模特，分别对应一幅古典艺术名作。每一位模特的经历和个性，都与对应的艺术作品。Rose 热爱徒步，曾攀登过菲律宾一些最宏伟的山峰，包括大拉滕山(Mt. Daraitan)、阿波山（Mt.Apo）和卡林巴省的睡美人山(Sleeping Beauty Mountain)，她手臂上的纹身正是在卡林巴期间找纹身艺术大师 Apo Whang Od 手工敲刺的。几年前，她在一次公共汽车事故中失去了左臂，但她对登山的热爱却从未消褪。Ayla 认为她身上那种毅力、决心和对徒步的热爱，最适合演绎亚历山德罗斯(Antioch)的《断臂的维纳斯》(Venus de Milo)，扮演作为爱神、生育女神、战争女神和海神的阿芙罗狄蒂。
Julius has an orthopedic disability on both legs, leaving his stature to be significantly smaller than people his age. He was a target of bullying throughout most of his high school years. He told Reyes that one of his favorite things to do was make handcrafted scrapbooks for his friends. “What was most intriguing but heartwarming to me was that he was capable of being this sweet and loving despite knowing the feeling of being hurt,” he says. “He is personally one of the sweetest and kindest people I have ever met, which made me want to celebrate it,” says Reyes. To salute his thoughtfulness, she reimagined him as Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker.
Julius 双腿患疾，因此个子比同龄人要小得多。整个高中时期，他饱受霸凌。他告诉 Ayla，自己最大的爱好之一就是给他的朋友制作手工剪贴簿。Ayla 说：“最让我感到暖心和感动的是，虽然他受到那么多的伤害，却仍然如此善良和充满爱心。他是我见过最善良、最有爱的人之一，我把这一点表现出来。”对应他温柔体贴的个性，她选择让 Julius 演绎了奥古斯特·罗丹(Auguste Rodin) 的《思想者》(The Thinker)。
Suffering from cerebral palsy, Markus is an outspoken advocate for disability rights. He’s given countless talks and seminars promoting inclusivity, works as a training officer for the Leonard Cheshire Philippines Disability Foundation, and is a Youth Council Member at UNICEF Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities. To honor his fight, Reyes depicts Markus as a warrior for the disability community equipping him with a sword and helmet in her reimagining of David by Donatello.
“Rather than exactly recreating the art pieces, I opted to integrate the muses’ personalities and stories into the artworks as a symbol of their inner beauty. I wanted to show everyone that there’s more to them than their appearances and disabilities, and that these don’t define who they are as people,” Reyes explains.
Markus 患有脑瘫，是一位积极的残疾人权利倡导者，多次参与促进包容性的演讲和研讨会，同时担任菲律宾伦纳德柴郡残疾基金会的培训官，还是联合国儿童基金会全球残疾儿童伙伴关系的青年委员会成员。为了致敬他所作出的贡献，Ayla 让 Markus 演绎了多纳泰罗的《大卫》， 让他双手执剑，戴上头盔，化身成捍卫残疾人社区的战士。
Reyes’s father encouraged her to pursue photography throughout her school life. Although she’s not actively pursuing photography as a career, she’s kept it in her creative arsenal as she considers herself more of a multimedia artist than solely a photographer. What matters most to her is that she finds a way to fight for what’s right and what she believes in and feels that art can cater to her needs. “Art is a great way to make a statement and to really reach audiences in a way words can’t. The same goes for my photography—I love capturing people and their emotions. It’s important to me that my images tell a story.”
Reyes hopes that the project can encourage open-mindedness towards all forms of beauty. Since uploading the project, she’s raked in over 38,000 likes and 28,000 shares on Facebook. When asked if she’s planning to continue the series, she shares that she’d love to. “I know there’s a lot more people in the world that I wasn’t able to represent, so I’d love to celebrate diversity even further with more people. I’ve had people reach out to me too about their own experiences with their physical disabilities and features, telling me they’d love to know what artwork I would assign to them. Any opportunity to create more art like this would be an honor.”
Ayla 希望这个摄影项目能够鼓励人们包容不同形式的美。自从她上传这些作品以来，她在 Facebook 上已经获得超过 38,000 个赞和 28,000 次分享。当被问及她是否打算继续创作该系列时，Ayla 表示乐意至极。“我知道自己目前作品所呈现的人群还很有限，世界上还有很多不同形式的美，所以我也想继续拍摄更多元化的人群。也有很多人主动联系我，跟我分享了他们因为身体障碍所遭遇的经历，也很想知道我会给他们分配哪一件古典艺术作品。对我来说，有机会去创造更多这样的艺术作品是一种荣幸。”