Ashley Perry

Anthology of human physical perfection

First Commission inspired by Michelangelo's David: represent the idea of human physical perfection.

Artist statement:
"Human physical perfection is whatever you want it be, not what you are told it is."

Ash Perry began his interrogation into the brief by asking the internet a question: what is human physical perfection? His search results led him down a path that has culminated in a work that exposes how search-engine algorithms reinforce and shape ideals of physical perfection. Inspired by his recent travels in Nepal, the Aboriginal Australian artist observed how commercial brands, specifically beauty brands, communicate to different cultures and ethnicities using images that perpetuate a singular beauty based on dominant ideals. This led the artist to consider the broader impact algorithm-led image searches for beauty and human perfection has on broader society.

Anthology of human physical perfection began with an initial Google search for ‘Human’, ‘Physical’ and ‘Perfection’. Through the process of repeating these searches and engaging with the content, new search parameters were returned, further opening up ideas around human perfection. The representation of these images relative to one another teases out the society’s complex relationship with human physical perfection, with a focus on the internet’s contribution in pushing out a homogenised notion of what it is to be perfect. Ultimately however, through his work Ash finds that human physical perfection can be whatever you want it be, not what you are told it is.

The audio-visual sculpture comprises digital screens that project thousands of images, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the extent to which perceptions of physical perfection are increasingly narrowing in the age of the algorithm.

Ashley Perry asserts fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review under s 41 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) in the reproduction of comparative illustrations in this Artwork. The use of these images is to help clarify concepts, enhance viewers’ overall understanding of the subject matter and provide a critical analysis. The use of Copyrighted Materials and Works of Art by Ashley Perry (“The Artist”), has been confined to that necessary to illustrate the scholarly and critical position of this Artwork and no more. The Artist adheres to these standards and has made every reasonable attempt to ensure the accuracy of credit for each image. The Artist welcomes any uncredited creators to come forward so that he may acknowledge them and correct any errors or omissions. The Artist would like to offer that any creator, or person featured in the work can have their image removed in future iterations by contacting the artist at


Ashley Perry
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) Sculpture and Spatial Practice 2016
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) Honours 2017
Master of Fine Arts (Visual Art), current student


3rd Jul 2019

 Further information

Type: First Commissions
School: Victorian College of the Arts