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This Finnish Artist Regards Makeup as a Form of Camouflage
It’s not the type of clown makeup you might suspect...
Entertainment 27 Aug 2018
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What if our makeup was a form of camouflage? That’s the starting point in the new paintings of Helsinki artist Hannaleena Heiska, who is showing at Helsinki Contemporary until September 2.A series of velvety, black charcoal portraits show a set of stylish characters with irregular makeup, often colored circles dotting their face, over certain features like noses, mouths or cheeks.
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It’s not the type of clown makeup you might suspect. It’s something far more quixotic.
“The way some makeup and hairstyles – the urban individual’s camouflage, and a means of survival of creating an identity – causes problems for face recognition systems,” says the artist, who came across the kind of makeup used to confuse facial recognition software.
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“It’s a question of protecting and concealing your true identity, but I am also fascinated by the possibility of reconstructing your identity. Like tattoos, camouflage makeup can be a means of constructing a narrative on skin and through that, redefine your own identity over and over again.”
Text by Nadja Sayej
Photos via helsinkicontemporary

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