The Big Butt Craze Continues To Rack Up Real Casualties, Expert Speaks Up

Butt shape and size is like that Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone classic spaghetti Western film, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

Great butt enhancement is done safely with a patient’s own fat, and with a proportional esthetic. Bad butt work can lead to death. The ugly? Well, make sure you steel yourself and have a look.

The recent news that a Missouri man was extradited by sheriff deputies in Prince George’s County for fatal butt injections reveals that the illegal “back-alley” butt enhancement business is not going away anytime soon.

Police who issued the warrant for Vinnie Taylor’s arrest say he met the woman at a hotel on March 20 in Capitol Heights, Maryland to give her injections.

Sadly the woman became sick and later died at a hospital. Taylor, who doesn’t have medical training, is charged with second degree murder, assault and reckless endangerment.

mug shot

Miami and Washington D.C. have been home to some high profile cases where people have died from toxic poisoning by these illegal butt injections.  A Washington D.C. woman was jailed in 2012 for giving women illegal silicone injections. She was released in February 2014 after 37 months in prison.  Even VICE profiled this cultural phenomenon in their “Buttloads of Pain” feature, the dark side of the roads taken to construct larger derrieres and hips.


Board certified Miami based plastic surgeon, Dr. Constantino Mendieta has been in the butt business for over 30 years.  He is considered the expert in gluteal sculpting, understands the desire for many to acquire a beautiful backside attracts people from all walks of life.

From average women who just want to look nicer in their jeans, to strippers wanting to step up their game, Dr. Mendieta has done reconstructive surgery from botched butt injections to celebrity fat grafting where unwanted fat is repositioned in the right places for a tasteful reshaping of the body.

Unfortunately Dr. Mendieta sees the medical disasters from bargain butt injection victims,  blue and white collar workers, strippers, celebs and average hardworking housewives who have fallen prey to the ‘big booty’ craze.

Dr. Mendieta shared with Monsters and Critics the outrageous lengths that people are willing to go in order to alter their appearance.satisfy a body ideal that celebrates a grotesque enlargement of the derriere.

Dr M headshot

Dr. Mendieta says, “Illegal injectibles, such as kitchen grade silicone, tire fix-it, motor oil, cosmetic gels–PMMA gel, Hydrogel–and even cement, are extremely dangerous. I wish I could say cases like this are rare, but they are becoming more and more common place. Anytime you put a foreign substance into your body, there is a risk of infection but add to that a foreign, non medical grade substance that is put in by non medically trained professionals in back alley operations, you are more likely to suffer major consequences than you are to appreciating the outcome. I have spent too many hours of my career battling to save the bodies and the lives of individuals who come to me after they have received illegal injections and surgeries. I cannot begin to stress enough that people need to be very discerning and educate themselves prior to choosing to receive injections. Bottom line: your health is worth more than the money you think that you might be saving at the hands of an unqualified charlatan.”

Dr. Constantino Mendieta

Original Article

Larger Than Life: Zhenya Gershman

Zhenya Gershman in her studio, photo by Yanina Gotsulsky

Zhenya Gershman in her studio, photo by Yanina Gotsulsky

These are not pretty people pictures. They are jaw dropping, honest reveals that give the observer a sense of insight and appreciation to the whole of the subject. Zhenya’s art provokes, mesmerizes and intrigues with the sense of energy in what is normally a calm, still subject, and more importantly, Her work creates dialogue, not only about her art, but about the life of the subject she has captured. — April Neale, Monsters and Critics

LARGER THAN LIFE, Zhenya Gershman’s latest art exhibition featuringover-sized portraits of iconic public and private figures opens Thursday, February 12, 2015 at the Building Bridges Art Exchange located in the prestigious Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica, CA.


Lev Matusovsky, advertisement of his famous photography atelier

Lev Matusovsky, advertisement of his famous photography atelier

“Over 100 years ago, my great-grandfather Lev Matusovsky advertised his photography studio: ‘Portraits up to life-size with negatives carefully preserved for re-prints.’ At the time, this luring promise was a true technological wonder stretching human perception and recognition of self – photography being a miraculous mirror capturing and reflecting the otherwise fleeting identity.


Lev Matusovsky, photography studio, early 1900's

Lev Matusovsky, photography studio, early 1900′s

Today, I am working with this family tradition but in reverse: instead of the living model I am using photography as a reference to transform the images into Larger Than Life painted portraits. This series is inspired by a variety of faces from iconic public figures to private intimate glimpses of my family and friends.

I used various dimensions to get closer to my subjects: the recording of their voices, interviews, songs, memories, associations, and film appearances. A curious psychological reversal occurs: while the viewer can easily recognize celebrity faces, slowly these icons begin to fade away replaced by a new persona presented by the painting that takes over the original source.

Zhenya Gershman, portrait of Mick Jagger, oil on canvas, 60 X 54 inches, 2014

Zhenya Gershman, portrait of Mick Jagger, oil on canvas, 60 X 54 inches, 2014

In these monumental portraits not only the size of the image but the very brush stroke is enlarged. In addition to lofty house painting brushes and palette knifes, I had to resort to various sponges, squeegees, and even ceramic tools to carve out the faces in oil paint, creating a highly tactile, sculptural surface. It is as if I had to perform mini-surgeries in paint in order to excavate the complex personalities.

detail of a portrait by Zhenya Gershman, oil on canvas, 2014Detail of a portrait by Zhenya Gershman, oil on canvas, 2014

These portraits are literally, poetically, and metaphysically LARGER than LIFE. Like my great grandfather, I used human subjects; only this time the people themselves became the ‘negatives’ that are used to ‘develop’ the works of art.”

Zhenya Gershman, portrait of Bob Dylan for the Grammy's Musicares, photo by Yanina Gotsulsky, 2014Zhenya Gershman, portrait of Bob Dylan for the Grammy’s Musicares, photo by Yanina Gotsulsky, 2014

This exhibition runs concurrent with the début of an official

“Zhenya Gershman portrait” of Bob Dylan,

The GRAMMY 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year.