about the photo
Beauty Out of Damage was shot with a Canon F1 on 35 mm color negative film and printed by the artist in 1993.
The photograph generated 12 awards (including a Pulitzer Prize Nomination) after appearing on the cover of the Sunday Magazine section of The New York Times on August 13, 1993. Subsequently The New York Times received an unusually high amount of letters to the editor, ranking it as one of the most controversial covers in its history. In addition to photography awards, the artist received numerous humanitarian awards including The Gilda Radner Award, Person of the Week (Peter Jennings World-Wide News) and Humanitarian of the Year Award.
In the mid nineties Beauty Out of Damage became one of the most published pictures in the world appearing in hundreds of international publications, books and on TV shows and documentaries. TWENTY years since Beauty Out of Damage's debut, the image is still in demand: often published in scholarly and academic journals related to sociological issues on health, medicine, beauty and body image.
In 2003 and again in 2011 LIFE Magazine included this photo in a special edition entitled "100 Photographs That Changed the World. The New York Times, in conjunction with the Aperture Foundation released "The Photographs" also in 2011. This book features Beauty Out of Damage amongst 250 of the most important photographs published in The New York Times Magazine in the past 30 years.
In 2012 Semana Magazine (South America's version of Newsweek) chose Beauty Out of Damage as one of the most important images taken in the past 30 years for their 30th anniversary.
On or about August 18th, 2013 CBS Sunday Morning is airing a tribute to both Matuschka and the image (Beauty out of Damage) that helped launch the breast cancer movement in 1993. Inside Edition showcased Beauty out of Damage on their program regarding a story about Angelina Jolie: aired Spring 2013.
Beauty Out of Damage has been collected by numerous museums internationally and continues to be showcased in many exhibitions worldwide.
ęBeauty Out of Damage is registered with the Library of Congress. All rights reserved.
BEAUTY OUT OF DAMAGE
|"It was not simply nudity that shocked early viewers of Edouard Manet¹s
"Dejeuner sur l¹herbe." The tumble of clothing beside her make clear that
the woman in the foreground has literally "stripped herself bare" before her
male companions. And as though to add insult to injury, she stares boldly
toward us, radiantly self-confident and perhaps even a trifle amused by the
reactions she provokes. It is difficult to think of a work with a comparable
power to weak bourgeois hypocrisies until, more than a century later,
Matuschka broke topless taboos with her appearance on the cover of ³the New
York Times Magazine.² In a breathtaking portrait of the artist produced
after her mastectomy, an entire generation was sensitized to one of the
greatest hush-hush conspiracies of the 20th Century.
-Dr. David Galloway From "The Body in the 20th Century"
"Her cover did more for Breast Cancer than anyone else in the last
Carol Spiro, President
Breast Cancer Action; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
"Oscar Wilde said one can either make a masterpiece or be one. Artist
Matuschka has managed to do both."
Cincinnati Magazine, Ohio
"I couldn't look away. The New York Times Magazine cover was the most
significant image of the century.
St. Louis, MI
"It wasn't just her damaged chest but her resilient dignity which was so
Sandra Day O'Connor
Supreme Court Justice, Breast Cancer Survivor
"With her shocking post-mastectomy self-portrait Matuschka managed to create
even more controversy than a certain performer whose name also begins with
an M and ends with an A."
New York, NY
"The purpose of radical art is to raise the subjective dimensions of social
problems. Matuschka did just that with her picture on the cover of the New"
York Times Magazine.
Brian J. Jones
Sociology, Micro, Macro and Mega Structures
Harcourt Brace, 1995
"The photo is shocking, provocative, riveting and long overdue"
Reading Eagle, Pennsylvania
"Matuschka's photograph is worth more than a thousand words. It deliberately
leads the way to a shift in social values and historical perspective. It
ignores taboos. Matuschka body has become a body politic, her art"
subversive, an act of revolution.
The Ottawa Citizenc, August 22, 1993
"Matuschka's photographs help eradicate shame and take the wraps off of a
taboo topic. If Matuschka's uncomfortable images can do that -- they're
worth the discomfort."
The Cincinnati Inquirer, Ohio
"The photograph of the artist and activist Matuschka dispels the myth that
men are the stronger sex. I have made copies of the image for all my male
"In Beauty Out of Damage, Matuschka surrounds her wounded chest in the
trappings of femininity. This photograph is stunning. It is both ironic in
its parody of the feminine and because of its elegant veneer, reclaiming of
the feminine for women who have had to adjust their identity because of
Austin American-Statesman, Texas
"What I most admire in your work is its beautiful treatment of such strong
and "ugly" truths about our ways of seeing and standards of beauty... For
women it is empowering. For men it challenges conventional readings of
desire in a vitalizing way."
"Matuschka's art gets your attention, invades your space, makes you want to
look away. But, can you afford to look away?"
Women' Voice, North Carolina
"Art can function in any of four general realms: the personal, the political,
the spiritual, or the aesthetic. And occasionally, it can demonstrate an
integration of all fourS Matuschka's art is such work. It is hard to define
and challenging to view. It includes extraordinary vulnerability, fierce
anger. . . . and much beauty."
Peter Schlessinger, Curator
New Art Center
"Here a new heroine is created for women; one who is strong, unafraid and
unashamed. She is highly sexual in a revolutionary way; on her terms with
one breast and one scar. The image strikes you, dares you. I was disturbed
but also exhilarated. I felt something I never felt before- a new acceptance
and love for the human body, with no beauty ideal attached to it."
Hunter Envoy, New York
"The intention of the Frauen Museum is to acknowledge the power of women as
creators of culture, not as eternal victims nor as idealized female images.
We also examine the underlying causes of women's conditions in society in
order to understand and to expand our creative potential. Matuschka's work
represents a courageous act which shocks at first glance. After further
reflection we begin to see a beauty of strength and survival. We consider
her work politically important since it demands that society takes the
disease of breast cancer seriously."
"What makes a heroine? Someone who enters difficult battles and emerges
victorious. Someone who challenges society's thinking and creates a new and
higher standard then ever before. Someone who inspires, provides hope,
encouragement and support to many many peopleS Matuschka is a women to
admire, for her beauty, to thank, for her fierce bravery, and most
especially, to honor, for her [heroism]."
Director, Playwright Woman's Project and Productions