Archive for December, 2011

Grotesque Fascination

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Slime has a new appeal to fashion with the introduction of Bart Hess and his latest creation, Slime Art.  Created using a mixture of supermarket, DIY and toy store materials, Hess has formulated a fully movable, translucent and elastic substance, that illuminates the physicality of the performer and suggests a novel hybrid between the clothed body and cosmetics.  His animation titled Ephémère which translates literally as “lasting only one day”, is often a theme within art and fashion, seen here it is an informed introduction to Hess’s fascination with the perpetual state of physical transformation.   Engagingly, the iconography within this short is similar to those within the horror genre of film, and brings immediately to mind the 1958 horror ‘B’ movie, The Blob, where an alien life form consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. While the performed body is seen as temporary transition and represents Hess’s slime creations with a nod to the glorification of cosmetic transformation and our makeover culture, there is also something of grotesque interest, almost a fascination within the nature of slime. Unsurprisingly his work has proved popular with the singer Lady Gaga, whom Hess has subsequently styled for publicity material and her 2011 music video “Born This Way”. More importantly it presents the monstrous body as beautiful, suggesting ideas signifying not what we are not, but also what we are becoming. Alexander McQueen once said ‘I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists’, and indeed the work of Hess heralds perhaps uncomfortable, but more importantly, significant change.

Mark Small


Go Beyond the Cover

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

While the Dermablend Professional video featuring Rico Genest is to be applauded, it raises the question of whether the issues surrounding cosmetic lifestyle choices are as clear cut. As an online video campaign it has proved to be extremely successful, but the message of not judging a book by it’s cover is extremely simplistic, if not a little naive.