Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fine Art Makeup: Dali's "Galatea of the Spheres"


I've long been a fan of Dali and wanted to create a makeup look based on his work, but he's a tough nut to crack. Since he created surrealist works based on dreamscapes and symbolism, a lot of the imagery in his paintings is very literal and I've struggled to come up with a way to translate that to the face without being too literal. So, this is my first foray into using some of his imagery. Not quite as ambitious as I'd imagined, but it's a start!

Salvador Dali's 1952 painting Galatea of the Spheres brought together his interest in Renaissance-style perspective and the science of the atom to create a portrait of his wife. I find it fascinating that earlier in Dali's career he was hugely inspired in psychological breakthroughs of the early 20th Century, incorporating the mystery of the unconscious as a major character in his paintings; and in this painting, at a later point in his career, he's exploring an equally exciting but very different scientific field: nuclear physics. It's a classic example of how linked science and fine arts truly are. I think it's a shame that so many people consider the two fields as entirely separate; the stereotypical scientist is a person who's entirely methodical and buttoned-up, while we think of artists as flaky and disorganized free-spirits. In reality, the best artists and scientists are very similar in that they both search for truth and knowledge through experimentation, trial and error. When I look at this painting, I see the process of a mad scientist looking for a new perspective on a traditional subject.

I love that Dali used a grid of spheres set in three dimensions to create a structure for this painting, but felt free to continue to shape his subject outside that grid as well, using subtle strokes of brown to create her shoulders and hair. I didn't have a chance to play with this look outside of the gridded dots but I thinking of ways I can rework this to be a full-face look incorporating that method.

Products Used:

  • L'OrĂ©al True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup in Porcelain Ivory
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
  • Revlon Cream Blush in Charmed
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural


For the eyes:

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
  • MAC Paint Pot in Clearwater
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Atlantic and Naval
  • Smashbox Eye Shadow in Linen and Butter
  • Makeup Geek Eye Shadow in Peach Smoothie
  • Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Brown
  • Sephora Eye Pencil in Flirting Game
  • Inglot AMC Gel Eyeliner in #84
  • Sephora Liquid Liner in Fancy Blue
  • Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara in Blue






Process Photos

I have to confess that I spent forever on my left eye and didn't get to finish the right, but that means I get to show you some process photos below. I started this look with a kind of white-to-blue gradient eye, going from NYX Milk to MAC's Clearwater to MAC Atlantic to MAC Naval. And then, I did my best to create a grid of dots coming out at a diagonal from my tearduct. I actually used the biggest size of this nail dotting kit I got from Amazon to create the dots. I first mixed Maybelline's brown gel liner with a bit of Inglot Duraline to get it more liquid-y, pressed the dotter into the blend and got dotting! They certainly didn't create perfect dots but they are much more precise than what I would've gotten free-handing it, and by using a brown I created a nice outline on which I could layer other shades to lend a somewhat three-dimensional quality to each "sphere."



Thanks for reading, and I promise to post more often! It's been a busy few months but I plan to post every week from now on.

1 comment:

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