I've always had a love for those bizarre and seemingly inexplicable films that populate the Arthouse movie genre - so when I read a review that stated Leos Carax's Holy Motors to be one of the most 'original' films of recent years I couldn't really resist, despite the warning signs furrowed deep in the brows of the man at the video shop... And well, yes, Holy Motors is a very original movie, and a very bizarre one at that, which follows its protagonist Monsieur Oscar as he is chauffeured around Paris in a white stretch limo to attend a number of 'appointments'. Each appointment demands of him a certain character and his limo serves as a base and a dressing room where piles of boxes and cases are revealed to contain numerous costumes, wigs, prosthetics, false nails, teeth and even contact lenses. Dennis Levant's performance is undoubtedly rather amazing as is Bernard Floch's makeup design and application at transforming each role Monsieur Oscar briefly inhabits into a unique entity. Throughout the film we see him transform into an array of contrasting roles - including a scar faced murderer, a dying uncle, a begging old crone and a bandy legged, flower munching supermodel thieving sewer tramp. Laced a with dark surrealism and containing some striking if not rather disturbing visuals and cinematography - I certainly won't be forgetting this one in a hurry.
To those of you who are fans of Arthouse and enjoy rather dark, twisted and somewhat theatrical cinematic storytelling such as the works of David Lynch and Peter Greenaway, Holy Motors may be well worth considering spending an evening with. To those of you who prefer the more traditional side to cinema - you know, those films where you easily understand what's going on, I'd look elsewhere. Either way, I probably wouldn't recommend watching this with your Granny....
One project which has been commanding my attention recently and something I really should have written about here weeks ago is the fight for the display of artistic nudity on Facebook. I read several posts lasts year in which artists expressed upset after they were blocked from their accounts following the reporting of their work, and indeed experienced upset myself as images from the summers adventures with Happy Slap Boutique were taken down from the company page. In January Tia Adams of Paint the Body, an amazing artist, was blocked from her page yet again after her wonderful work was repeatedly flagged as inappropriate - it really upset me to see such a wonderful artist feeling picked on and bullied simply for sharing her beautiful work so I decided to start up a little page where people can show their support for artists like Tia and discuss policy changes that could benefit the whole Facebook community.
So far not a single day has passed without at least one person joining the cause and some days we've manged over 90 new additions which is both exciting and incredibly encouraging! It's also bringing to attention numerous cases where people feel their work has been removed unfairly and are not given the option of appealing the decision. The images in question - at least those I've seen so far - are so blatantly artistic in intent and so far removed from anything I would consider sexually explicit or pornographic that their flagging as inappropriate just seems ludicrous. One recent example that I think deserves mention involves the wonderful Yolanda Bartram from Body FX who I worked with at the Sydney IMATS last year. She was locked out of her account for a week following a nipple protest in which she posted an image of....get ready for this - prosthetic nipples!! Yes that's right, barred from her account for fake nipples... Of course with over a billion people now registered to the site any image is bound to disagree with someone somewhere - however I'm convinced that there are ways for artists/photographers/models to share their work AND for those who are offended by skin to be protected from seeing this work and being upset in the first place.... If you think bodypainting and other displays of artistic nudity have a rightful place on Facebook please show your support and join us at www.facebook.com/bodypaintingappeal - with enough of us (over 7000 to be exact) we really can influence change :) See you there!
It brings me immense joy to share the news that the European ban on animal testing for Cosmetics WILL be coming into effect on the 11th March and putting to an end to some of the horrific cruelty inflicted on the innocent in the name of beauty. Cruelty Free International and BUAV have been campaigning tirelessly for decades against animal testing and this victory is set to be an incredibly important landmark in the fight for animal rights setting an high example for the rest of the world to follow. From the 11th any company that wants to sell new cosmetic products in the EU - be they makeup, soaps or even toothpaste - must not have tested either the products or their ingredients on animals anywhere in the world. This will send a very strong message to many cosmetics companies who wish to remain in the European market as 80% of the world's countries still permit testing - including China where disgustingly it is a mandatory requirement.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported and maintained the cause so far - some truly amazing work has been done here and it's just the beginning! To get involved with the fight against cosmetic testing visit Cruelty Free International and learn how you can help :)
I've had a few people asking me recently about vegan makeup for body art as a lot of the face paints out there aren't certified., for those of you who like oil based paints I suggest heading over to Vegan Faces to check out their ever growing range of products. However for those of you who favour air over bristles I'd suggest checking out Kett Cosmetics. These guys have been certified vegan and cruelty free by the fine folk over at P.E.T.A and they have a great selection of airbrush products available which are free from fragrances, parabens, oils and silicone! For everyday and natural makeups they have a wide range of foundation colours available which are readily complimented by a a nice selection of shimmers, blushers and contouring colours. If you're after something a bit more creative they also have a selection of bold colours, metallics - and of course their alcohol based Kett FX range which can be used both on skin and to colour any prosthetics you may have fashioned out of foam latex, plastic, gelatin or silicone, happy days! It's also worth noting that most of their products are available in their Hydro Proof collection - a formula specially developed to be long lasting and water resistant - perfect for lashings of body art on hot summer days :) All of their products are HD ready too including their translucent powder (available both pressed and loose) had been getting rave reviews all over the Internet for a while now. Sounds good right? Head over to www.kettcosmetics.com to check them out for yourselves xxx
I've been playing around with some ideas for a new project and thought I'd share a little snippet from todays work as it's been rather a while since my last post... I'm working on a little sequence and after doing some little doodles I had a revelation and decided to play on Paint instead, why I've never thought of this before is beyond me - it's so handy!! Below is a test shot accompanied by a basic outline for my design - more coming soon!