When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to wear makeup. Some mornings, I would sneak into my mum’s handbag and steal a little Revlon “Toffee Smoke” lipstick and pray she wouldn’t notice the stain on my lips. At age 11, I graduated to stealing my overnight-camp-counselor’s Estée Lauder eyeliner (I know—let’s not even think about the hygiene issues involved here). By 14, I legally obtained and wore my very own Revlon “Frosted Brownie” and thought I was a supermodel for it. Of course, at this point, the novelty of makeup has worn off a bit and it takes much more than street makeup to amuse me. However, I can’t help but look at my favorite contemporary art portraits and wonder about how the look could come to life on a real face. The idea recently popped into my mind as I toured Noah Purifoy’s Junk Dada at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This show is a must-see. Purifoy was an underappreciated African-American artist who created “assemblage” from everyday, found objects. Franklin Sirmans has curated an eclectic survey of Purifoy’s early pieces, along with his work produced while living in Joshua Tree. Purifoy had a profound impact on Los Angeles as an artist, was an 11-year member of the California Arts Council, and a founding director of the Watts Towers Arts Center. I was completely captivated by his large-scale sculpture that has been temporarily relocated from the Noah Purifoy Foundation in Joshua Tree. However, it was Lace Curtain that really remained on my mind. Some surmise it is a self-portrait. I brought it back to life on model Tiffany Lupien with the help of amazing makeup artist Hiroko Claus, stylist Camille Yvette, rockin’ clogs from Bryr, and makeup from Smashbox Cosmetics. No junk inside this trunk.
Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada
On View Until September 27, 2015
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard