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Photoshopped Images Deconstructed With The Art of DeTouch

Artist Evan Roth exposes the manipulated pixels that populate the images of glossy magazines.
December 6, 2010, 4:27pm

Photoshop is a ubiquitous image manipulation tool used by publications to create hyper-real versions of celebrities and models, airbrushing away their imperfections so we’re left with a race of superbeings with skin as smooth and unreal as a botoxed elbow. We all know this and have come to accept it as the way things are, but still, unless you see a limb that looks like Mr. Fantastic’s or your super vision is trained to see the misplaced lie of a shadow, it’s difficult to spot exactly how the photos have been altered.

That’s where The Art of DeTouch comes in—an application from prolific FAT Lab artist Evan Roth and NYC-based art and technology center, Eyebeam. The tool analyzes before and after photos to demystify this commonly accepted practice, breaking it down to each individual pixel in order to show exactly where the image has been altered.

Here’s how Roth describes it in his own words:

DeTouch explores the manipulation of images related to the human form. Drawing photographs from existing online portfolio sites of professional re-touch artists, this application allows a user to explore precisely how the images were altered. Using Processing, an open source programming language and environment, before and after images are compared algorithmically pixel by pixel to generate visualizations of the alterations.