In a combination of makeup art and illustration, Israeli artist Tal Peleg has turned her eyelids into expressive canvases. Peruse her collection and you will see eyes and brow bones masterfully transformed into emotional landscapes, various animals, and renditions of famous paintings and movie scenes. Each piece is painstakingly achieved using a combination of eye shadows, watercolors, eyeliners, and tiny brushes, taking hours to perfect. The result is a series of artworks—ephemeral in nature—that express identity and creativity in unique ways.
“Makeup is an amazing form of art, and I use it in order to make my eye tell a story,” Peleg wrote on Bored Panda. “Inspiration is all around me, and I give my own unique artistic interpretation using makeup. It can be inspired by emotions, movies, fairytales, animals, food, important social matters, and more.” (Source)
The eye is the proverbial “window to the soul”—the lens through which our inner states become visible to others. It is incredible how the mood of Peleg’s ice-blue iris appears to shift depending on the artwork and narrative that surrounds it. As mentioned above, the topic range of Peleg’s eye-art is vast; some explore scenes of child-like innocence, while others convey important social messages, such as the pain and isolation of bullying, and the spiraling, dark coils of depression. With incredible detail and sensitivity, Peleg has captured these themes and experiences well, with her eye as the deep locus that communicates their significance on intuitive, emotional levels.
Lernert & Sander embrace the urge for cosmetic overkill in Natural Beauty where they apply 365 layers (1 years worth) of makeup in one day to see how much is needed to go from a natural look to an outrageous one. Makeup artist Ferry van der Nat and his assistant Vanessa Chan helped to execute the vision, slathering a host of Ellis Faas products on Belgian beauty Hannelore Knuts, who was recently named the new face of Swiss fashion house Akris. Lernert & Sander began collaborating in 2006; since then they’ve done everything from melt a chocolate bunny with a hairdryer to repurpose household appliances as sex toys in the name of video art.
Using narratives and visual genres found in art, combined with the clean aesthetics of design and contemporary product advertising, the work of Norah Stone is representative of a generation which has seen both art and design coexisting, flattened by the computer screen, and has no use for their separation. “The classic art vs. design question is something that comes up a lot in my daily life but I often find it to be a futile discussion, says the Minneapolis-based Stone, “I guess I just don’t think it’s important to set up boundaries just for the sake of boundaries.”
Norah Stone’s most-recent series, Artificial Utopias, creates thoroughly modern still life scenes, which despite their alluring hyppereal-quality (reminiscent of advertising and pictorial), the distinct sense of disconnect between these spotless digital worlds and our own is unsettling.
“In a culture where most of our daily routines and habits have been replaced by a digital screen, the scroll, the pixel, and the ability to retouch has ultimately changed our ideals of perfection….As I was working on this project I was thinking a lot about how growing up in the digital generation has subconsciously molded me to be attracted to a certain cleanliness that can only be achieved on screen. Artificial Utopias was a culmination of my own personal experience with the digital world and also the research I was doing on still lives. The super clean, almost surreal aesthetic came from trying to recreate the visceral experience that comes from staring at a screen for a long period of time.”
This play between perfection and illusion, the real and the empty, eventually manifested itself into twin video works as well. “In the video works (below) I was trying to recreate the process of eliminating imperfections through the clone stamp tool. In post production, I spent a lot of time retouching these photos to achieve the cleanliness of a stock photo. I wanted to capture the mundane process of retouching and erasing over and over again until you’re left with something completely different,” says Stone, who perhaps quite telling concludes, “or nothing at all.”
Check out Kako Ueda‘s cut paper masterpieces! With each project, she explores her deep interest in organic beings (insects, animals, and humans alike), and weaves them into mind-bogglingly intricate, extraordinarily precise patterns and forms. Her newest work (immediately after the jump!), still in-progress, is a hybrid figure measuring about 7 feet high!