They are faces you’ve seen, but never like this. They’re families you’ve shared dinner with, women whose adventures you’ve read about, men who could be your neighbors — people you think you know.
That’s the point of Italian artist AleXsandro Palombo’s latest “social campaign,” No Violence Against Women, which calls attention to domestic abuse through the battered faces of famous cartoon women and their partners.
“I’ve decided to launch this new series because I wanted to give visibility to a problem that affects a great amount of women all over the world,” he told Metro in an email.
Palombo is known to make his points through cultural icons — he previously depicted fashion moguls including Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld wearing Bambi for an anti-fur ad. This time, he chose the familiar faces to make a point: that domestic violence is so prevalent, its victims and perpetrators could be anyone.
“Have you ever seen a very normal couple walking on the street, and then a glimpse of the woman’s face, bruised? In many cases, monsters are apparently very normal people,” he said.
According to a 2013 study published in the journal Science, more than 20 percent of women ages 15 and older in North America have suffered some form of violence by their boyfriend or husband.
Palombo is concerned about the commodification of women through advertising and fashion, a trend he wants to see reversed by nurturing respect. His art is intended to give a voice to domestic violence victims, as many may be ashamed to ask for help or believe the abuse is justified because of something they did, he said.
Breaking domestic violence laws, where they exist, should be met with severe punishment, Palombo said, but hopes his work inspires a more personal call to action: “In my opinion, [it] should be men themselves to fight against men who abuse women all over the world.”