11/7/12 – Appropriation of the Mexican skull from Holy Kitsch
© Photography and Makeup by Charlotte Pridding
Design inspired by Holy Kitsch store located in Sydney http://www.holykitsch.com.au/
The Mexican skull from Holy Kitsch inspired me to appropriate the design through the application of makeup and face paint. The Mexican skull is usually placed on top of the television cabinet and my parents had bought the skull from a store in Sydney also known as Holy Kitsch, which sells Day of the Dead merchandise.
The shape and the design of the skull has provided a level of inspiration especially for the research project. I always walk past the skull in the lounge room and I’ve always been attracted to the colour especially around the eyes or the mouth.
First of all I applied a layer of moisturizer and a layer of cheap foundation from the supermarket. I then applied white setting powder over the top, which covers the foundation, although I intend to use proper theatrical makeup for the actual photo shoot.
The powder didn’t quite set, which may indicate that I may have required a higher quality foundation. I may have needed to apply an extra layer of foundation before applying the setting powder.
I used a blue eye shadow for the eyes, which was outlined with a thin layer of face paint. I mixed red, yellow and white onto a disposable art palette in order to create the orange circles. I used the black face paint to outline the nose and the mouth, although I had to use a thin paint brush because the makeup brushes were too thick.
The face paint was quite easy to apply to the makeup or the base and I did not need an extra layer of paint. The actual design was very challenging and I did need a very steady hand in order to paint the different shapes.
Once I had finished the design, I was attracted to all the different colours and effects more than the actual shape of the skull. In comparison, the black and white representations of the skull that I have tested with makeup / face paint exaggerates the image of the skull.I do believe that the black and white make up actually provokes more of an emotional response compared to the colourful or vibrant representations of the skull.
Perhaps the black and white makeup / face paint is dark or sinister, which may prevent the ability to recognise my own face. The primary colours within the design distracts my attention to the Mexican skull that is painted on my face. The question I really want to ask is, does the face paint / makeup provide a closer connection to death? does the makeup / face paint make me thing about death?
I would say that it all depends on the style of the makeup and how the photograph is taken. When I look at the photographs on-screen, there are certain images or photographs, which do make me wonder what my own skull would look like without the skin.
While I am painting on my own face, I am using the shape of my own skull to outline the shape of my own designs. The forehead, the eyes and the chin are quite easy to work with, although the nose as well as the cheeks can distort the style of the makeup.
My own perspectives of death or the image of the skull depends on the materials, the style and the context. I wasn’t really expecting to spend the year in the bathroom mixing face paints on disposable art palettes with cotton wool buds. The bathroom has actually become my studio and I’m actually using a similar technique to oil or acrylic painting.
The baby wipes actually remove all of the makeup and the makeup remover is good for cleaning the makeup brushes or sponges. The makeup / face paint was easy to remove and I am surprised that I have used the face paint that I have bought from the $2 shop. I wasn’t too sure to begin with but the paint mixes really well with different colours and If I apply a thin layer it is easy to remove.
It was quite a dark day and there wasn’t quite enough natural light for the photographs. I did take several photographs outside and I do think that I need to take the photographs before five in the evening, although I did not anticipate that the make up would take at least three hours to create,
I had to use the flash and I have also taken some photographs outside in order to capture some of the light before night-time. I was a little concerned that I had created a clown instead of a skull, although I am still practising with the makeup and I can always can the style before the photo shoot.