Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ellis Faas - Beautiful and Underrated

Ellis: "As a late teenager, I visited the Tate Gallery in London and was blown away by a Francis Bacon triptych. It made a great impression on me because of the use of colour - it was unnerving and stunningly beautiful at the same time. Bacon inspired many experiments I did over the years. I now think it has become something of my own and hasn't much to do with Bacon any more."

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bling! Bling! at Chanel

Peter Philips, the creative director of Chanel Makeup has faceCULTURE rummaging through little pots of gems.

Friday, 30 November 2012

'Black Doubt' - Lara's Dream

This conceptual short by make-up artist Lara Himplemann, considers the physicality of the colour 'black', and questions its gothic iconic status. Considering her specialism in make-up, this is a film that presents a unique perspective from an innovative practitioner, whose consideration of how colour can affect mood and character is key to her general vision.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Morphe by Lucy Macrae

The combination of science and beauty in Lucy Macrae's latest film for Australian skincare brand Aesop suggests the not so distant future vision of beauty care. Check out her latest film 'Make Your Maker' for Nowness as a continuation of this visual text on the body.

Morphē Short Film for Aēsop from Lucy McRae on Vimeo.

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Perfect 10

In an image obsessed society, 'Emilia Paranioca - Perfect 10' attempts to resolve the discord between attempting to achieve an unattainable beauty ideal and the disconcerting idea perpetuated by the media and beauty industry that you can purchase this ideal in a jar.  In between this discord, the perception of what is 'attractive' or 'normal', unrealistic expectations and  obsession with youthfullness is performed by artist Emila Telese, whose installation deals with issues of self-perception and the tyranny of the beauty industry.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ralf's Beautiful Freaks

Alex, GutterSlut, 2008
We are all voyeurs.  But what makes the body of work by Ralf Obergfell so astounding is the photographic interpretations of the club kid, disco freaks and transexuals he captured during his time in London between 2005-2008. View more of his work here.  faceCULTURE is disappointed that his 2010 show at the Royal College of Art was missed...but will try to remedy this by sending someone to report of Obergfell's latest show, 'Beautiful Freaks' opening Friday 23rd November in Berlin.

James, Jonny Woo’s, 2007

John and Ryan, GutterSlut, 2008

Jonny, GutterSlut, 2008

Ryan, The Pale Blue Door, 2010

Shabnam and Alex, GutterSlut, 2007

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Well? What HAVE you done?

faceCULTURE needs a tune now and again that acts like a little reminder of the time when this question could be asked with no sense of irony or suspended disbelief.  Sadly dear readers, even this blogger was caught looking in the mirror recently, skin pulled back from the temple and jaw, wondering 'what if?'.  The danger is that this process of critical regard of the self has become so normalized that no one questioned it, and instead offered helpful suggestions.  And this was in a public lift! 

Save me from my vanity.  Play on!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Die Antwoord - The Spectacle of "Fatty Boom Boom".

Referencing tribal decoration and the embellishment techniques of body painting with pigments made from stone, plants berries, mud and tar, Die Antwoord's take on the appropriation of cultural and creative references is epitomized by the 'Gagaesque' journey of the central character in this video.

Die Antwoord and the dancers within the video effect a, not sophisticated but by no means crude, novel dimension of performance through painting and disguising the body.  Consequently the seductive illusory effects examined here present the spectacle of human beings offering themselves as surreal and exotic works of art.  A decorative counterbalance to the stylistic appropriation of cultural artifacts often utilised by popular music icons. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sugar Rush

This is probably about as trippy as it gets....faceCULTURE has just overdosed on sugar.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Drawn in. Cartoon and Cosmetics

Watch as this young woman turns herself into a real life cartoon. The appreciation of cosmetic masquerade has taken a bizarre twist.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Levi van Veluw / Family / Origin of the Beginning

Van Veluw presents a claustrophobic vision of an environment based on repetition and insignificant detail.  Constructed from 20,000 wooden blocks, this beginning is drawn from personal memories, and explores the themes of loneliness, solititude and isolation.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Splashing the colour all over - Misha B.

Wild patterns on the face on body in this Misha B video, makes me want to get my paintbrush out and splash that colour all over.  Of interest is the behind the scenes video, also seen below. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Adidas Pink

‘Adidas Pink’ features Chelsea Rose, in the process of being transformed by pink layers of existence. Under the watchful eye of her pink soft toys, Rose is overtaken by a liquid exuded by a pink shell.  Sploshing never looked so good.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


There are many sublime concepts surrounding scent, but the difficulty has always been finding inventive ways to capture the sensation of wearing it through the lens.  The film for Swallowable Parfum does this, but still does not capture the incredible notion that it is a product that will be finding it's way to our shelves sometime in the near future.

It's been a busy year.  faceCULTURE has been writing about Killer Blondes, smoking on the catwalk as a social activity, cosmetic excess and lately cosmetic beauty in fashion films.  These discursive texts have been presented in Prague, Milan and Oxford and London, but they only seem to provide more paths to follow and debate.  Oh La!  So now.....time to play.   

What shall we start with....hmmmm.  I know! Hannah Hoch!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The use of excessive violence

That's it.  I really can't let this idea of 'cosmetic excess', aka 'sploshing' go.   I was hesitant, and I was also scared, that once I started indulging there would be no going back but after watching Scottee's latest video - 'Violence', I have begun to see the light.  A little bit of what you fancy can do you good.  Now where is that jar of liquid foundation....?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Paper cuts

By playing with the page and not the body Damien Blottiere works as an artist but thinks like a surgeon, cutting and pasting the face and body and constructing new forms of appreciating beauty.  While this may not be a novel technique, what makes Blottiere present a unique perspective is his understanding of the fashioned body. This shift in responding to we how regard future bodies plays with our obsession with beauty, while notions of what we can begin to expect to achieve through cosmetic surgery are reminiscent of artist Paddy Hartley's 'Face corsets', created to temporarily simulate the effects of cosmetic surgery.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Splish Splosh

It was performance artist Scottee who introduced me to the term sploshing last year, it is a form of sexual fetishism where a person becomes aroused when substances are deliberately and generously applied to the naked skin, predominantly the face, or to the clothes people are wearing.  These substances tend to be food based.  I never really understood its attraction, but after watching  Reed and Rader's 'Cupcake Girl' I now get it, and I am surprised I didn't see the links to make-up earlier.  Gareth Pugh's 'Make-up-athon' and Lernet and Sander's 'Natural Beauty', also share this fascination.  My only question now is, with tactile cosmetic excess being the way forward, where will it take us?

Lernert & Sander: Natural Beauty on

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Did you know that wing coloration is an important component of social signaling in butterflies?  In some Asian countries such as China and in Japan, dragonfly enthusiasts, much like birders elsewhere, pride themselves on recognizing many different types of this species of insect. In fact, numerous  festivals, and sanctuaries provide Japanese dragonfly enthusiasts with the opportunity to practice and perfect their skills.  It is striking that many visual signals such as symmetry,  used for communication by insects and animals, are judged to be attractive by humans.  With such universal appeal it is no surprise that Ryan McGinley's film contributes to the notion that biological evolution as well as artistic innovation has allowed us to develop a sensory bias towards the beautiful.

Ryan McGinley’s Beautiful Rebels on

Sunday, 29 January 2012

It isn't make-up, it's art.

Still delighted every time I watch this.  Genuinely love observing the interpretation of the artists hand without lapsing into becoming derivative, and am inspired by Faas's approach to the face and body. 

Oh you pretty things...

Oh you pretty things,
Don't you know that you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane.

Photographer: Brett Lloyd