Cathy Lomax

ARTY 43: Makeup

Summer 2020

The Art of Makeup

Made-up faces and the traces of makeup occasionally appear in contemporary art - but this colourful surface of femininity is too often dismissed by the male-centric standards of the artworld who see it as decorative and therefore trivial. In this Makeup issue of Arty we foreground makeup and the artists who recognise it as a fascinating medium which can be manipulated like no other to transform and define identity. Within the issue you will encounter a collection of drawings of the makeup looks in a reality TV show (Sarah Doyle), a sculpture inspired by a teenage obsession with iridescent makeup (Jennifer Campbell), a painting highlighting chipped nail polish (Alli Sharma), a self portrait described by makeup products, (Rose Bradshaw), red lipstick reintroduced to sepia toned found photographs (Sharon Kivland), faces smeared with makeup and face cream (Jane O’Sullivan and Nina Mae Fowler), a collage of fashion magazines (Hayley Field), a mask of clown makeup (Eve Dearbhail Travis), close-up paintings of eyelids decorated with coloured shadows (Iris Legendre), gender fluid faces in a new interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (Paul Kindersley), a teary pierrot-style face painted on a handbag (Jane O'Sullivan), the poignant remains of lipstick on cigarette stubs discarded by refugees in Athens (Annabel Dover) and my own paintings inspired by makeup advertising. Collectively these works convey the cultural and emotive power of makeup.

To complement the contemporary art Stuart McKenzie recounts his time as a beauty illustrator, Lisa Duffy unpicks the Striesand Look, and I look at the 1950s – the decade that made makeup big business. We also have a series of interviews with people whose careers are defined by makeup - Doreen Bloch (co-founder of the Makeup Museum), Jenny Hanley (actress), Anna Payne (makeup artist) and Angie Adams & Jazzie Bean (owners of Cult Candy Cosmetics). The issue ends with Drawing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Lips, a poem by Stuart McKenzie.

This focus on makeup reveals that surface can also be depth because to paraphrase Angie Adams of Cult Candy Cosmetics, ‘we are what we are on all surfaces’.

Cathy Lomax

March 2020


Sharon Kivland                                               Rose Bradshaw


The contributors to Arty 43 are: Doreen Bloch, Angie Adams, Jazmin Bean, Rose Bradshaw, Jennifer Campbell, Rosemary Cronin, Eve Dearbhail Travis, Annabel Dover, Sarah Doyle, Lisa Duffy, Hayley Field, Jenny Hanley, Paul Kindersley, Sharon Kivland, Iris Legendre, Cathy Lomax, Nina Mae Fowler, Stuart McKenzie, Charlotte Martin, Alex Michon, Jane O'Sullivan, Anna Payne, Alli Sharma



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