As first a painter and now photographer, and being surrownded in my daily life by fashion photographers, retouchers etc...I can assume that I'm pretty in favor of heavy Photoshop retouching.
That said, when I first saw this image I did not feel comfortable. Something was telling me that it is nicely post produced, in a "painter way", although I find it too pushed for that subject, but tech is indeed
mastered. But I also felt something similar to what Tom B pointed.
This is what we call in french "effectiste" and easy to like or if you prefer, not easy to dislike.
But there is also an approach in that image that I'm not convinced, not that much from a technical point of view.
As for the reference being expressed about the similitude with Arnold Newman, I don't agree. Arnold portraits are generally made such a way that the subject is actually looking at him,
or there is enough information to deduct that there was a real dialog and awareness of the photographic act.
I don't feel that dialog pseleyimages expressed here between the photographer and the subject. But I trust you, if you said you felt it is because you felt it. I did not.
To me Tom's touched a point.
But in my understanding, there is no vulgarity or discremination in the name of image effect. I see an honest attempt to do something beautifull.
I'm closer to Edu in the sense that it is somewhere overprocessed, but this is also very very common, unless really really experienced retouchers.
So, offensive? I don't think so.
This is not my cup of tea, too effectist, but this is finally an interesting proposal that just need to mature more IMO, then the poster might really got something strong.
But the gap between a great image and what Tom's said is very narrow...in that case.
I don't think Andres crossed the deadline.