Friday, July 29, 2011

Trowel Applied Makeup Goes Mainstream

I can't say that MAC always makes the smartest decisions (you can read about the 'Juarez' controversy here), but there can't be too many people who won't at least chuckle at the upcoming Cindy Sherman-inspired makeup collection. It's genius-use an artist who is famous for exploring female imagery in our culture by pushing those representations to the extreme through caricatures that call into question just what we expect women to look like to sell us the makeup that perpetuates our idea of women as "perfect" painted ladies. It evokes the same sort of poking fun at one's self that Sherman is all about (especially since the characters don't look all that different from most of the makeup artists you see at MAC counters in malls across America). And it just so happens to allow them to sell us that makeup while being "in on the joke," and therefore not morally culpable for encouraging us to cover up our imperfections.

Even if I can't help feeling like the joke's really on us, I've got to say that I love my makeup and that this collaboration smartly uses the same saturated tones of Sherman's artwork. Plus, they get major points for actually putting out an ad campaign so true to Sherman's work aesthetic, knowing it's going to send so many customers who don't get it running in the opposite direction.

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