Kiko Arai by Bryan Huynh for Beauty Papers
Photographer: Bryan Hyunh. Model(s): Kiko Arai. Source: Beauty Papers. Stylist: Cece Liu. Makeup: Marla Belt. Hair: Peter Gray.
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Kiko Arai evokes a sense of synergistic energy with the past and future, as captured by Bryan Huynh for Beauty Papers. Dedicated to Japanese Illustrator, Pater Sato. Each face feeds our creative hunger, as it reads like a work of modern art. Art is subjective. A reflection of the human that you are and the one you would like to become. This tantalizing tale takes us into the Marvelous Makeup of Marla Belt. Her work is captivating. Literally so. It captivates the senses to such a degree, when viewing you feel as if you been transported to another place/time. It is unique to experience such a vivid trip. Her lines are luxurious. This is not your average cosmetic application. This is the visual realization of conceptual content. Her pictures aren’t merely photographs being preserved, they are portrayals being captured.
The beauty of Marla Belt’s work is that she allows each image to find it’s center. A sharp, blue shadow strikes as the eyes swim in a sea of cerulean. The shade meets the skin, allowing pigment to absorb, whereby white light is passed back in muted tone. Riding a wave of cool color, cobalt splashes across the brow as it crashes up & over the forehead. Scarlet outlines the mouth in rigorous form as red then wanes as the lips exhibit a similar fate. Boldness blends into a lighter tone, fading down the chin and up the side of the jawline. These details are drawn with extreme precision. Giving the illusion that a subtle trail of color is left behind. Swooping up and around ~ the lines then combine ~ ending it’s run on the side of the face. Whereby these two colors meet. Coming together in dramatic form. Beauty is blown out making for a dramatic statement. Cece Liu celebrates the authenticity of this culture, while taking liberties to explore. The fashion is simple yet statement making. Black/White keep the palate fresh, while the cuts and folds of fabric make the designs more exciting. The colors are clean, except for the last shot where Liu introduces a plaid. This choice may seem strange, but when viewed we see how it instills a sense of youthful questioning.
A dynamic image ensues as the face provides power. In one of the strongest shots, Kiko dons bushy, red brows that are actually affixed to the center of her forehead. Like caterpillars crawling across her skin, the overly, high placement of the fur gives the face an elongated illusion. Peter Gray continues the dimensional delusion, placing a bun on the top of her head and a braided-pony to the side. It’s an authentic depiction while rich with avant-garde pleasure. The Magnificent Makeup of Marla continues, by placing a swipe of scarlet under the eye, she plays up the misplaced brows. Deep red saturates the lips, as she bites down on something white that oozes the same shade. Art is an interactive medium. Viewing this editorial we experience a sense of synergy with the creators.
Peter Gray’s work with wigs here is truly inspiring. He takes a process that could come off half-hearted or cartoonish, and makes it read like high art. Using a cap he defines the baldness, thereby creating a canvas from whence he can work. This smooth layout provides a space of pure potential. He helps to build a series of stories using many hair-pieces to sculpt (as it were). His works grow in depth, as each character is defined. Gray shows us his strengths with wigs that honor the topical integrity of the story. Kiko stands backwards as her long, straight locks seem to start from the back of her otherwise shaved scalp. The look is spectacular, as the hair appears to be growing down in a stair step, not ending til’ it reaches her heels. This is haute coiffure at it’s finest. Need I say more?