Amber Witcomb in ‘This One Blink’ by Nagi Sakai for Zoo Magazine No. 64
Photographer: Nagi Sakai. Model(s): Amber Witcomb. Source: Zoo Magazine. Stylist: Desi Santiago, Ye Young Kim. Makeup: Chiao Li Hsu. Hair: Roberto Di Cuia.
Posted Oct 22, 2019
Amber Witcomb reminds us the world can change in ‘This One Blink’ by Nagi Sakai for Zoo Magazine No. 64. The third eye chakra, known to be in the center of the forehead, is artfully placed on the upper-cheek aside her right eye. This is a symbolic sign of how we see things not positioned in a straight line but portrayed in a curved view. Here we celebrate the excess of the abstract. Beauty’s truth is found in broken places filled with shattered spaces. Millions of shards crack to form as many paths. Connecting the unconnected we build a bridge that beckons. Pieces are held together by one line that breaks from tradition forming a fusion of ideas. This is a place where dreams are built and purpose is borne. Here the years past like shattered dreams turned to broken glass. Amber looks through a window as pieces hold precariously in place. A solid rock carved by the sea set a torrent of wonder for all to see. These Rocks Sit in Exquisite Formation as the Hands of Humanity Reach Toward the Sky. The symbolism is spectacular. This asks that we give ourselves over to the freedom to forego. That we forgive before it ends, the misanthropic malfeasance foisted upon us.
Displayed on a mirrored column sits is a patent leather shoe in the tone of teal teetering atop a shiny, metal heel. A plastic glove… full… as if a hand was inside taking up the space of flesh/bone, reaches up from inside the shoe. Emblazoned across the front of the reflective surface is the image of a lower leg wearing the same shoe. A portrayal of Post Art dives into the depths of perception. Reminding us, there are no barriers to artful examination, there is only the expansive nature of the mind. Backwards looks beckon us to see beyond our limited view. Pictures project everything from selfies to sunglasses made of seashells. Asking that we move outside the lines of expected and travel down the road of the unknown. I squandered years that past as shattered dreams turn to broken glass. Glass shatters with a million pieces all clinging precariously together. This is a statement on society today.
Chiao Li Hsu doesn’t use shades to dress-up the cheeks, she instead lets the colors rise and then cry from the eyes. Misshapen and malformed, they simply then sink into the skin. Shadowy pigments play against the transparent powder, giving a backdrop that beckons a second look. The presence of face paint elevates the application process to that of theatrical cosmetics. Features erupt from naked faced to fully covered in what could be called a makeup masque. Her pallid skin-tone invites the magenta to mix with a base. This combination radiates making her appear stage-ready. Chiao uses the structure of Amber’s skin to dictate the shape of the creative display. In another shot the face takes the place of an artists palate, with a drawing done over the skin. A thick, black line starts under the neck following a path around the left cheek. A crazy collection meets over the right cheek, with two cascading up/over the nose, finally ending with one on opposite side. There an eyeball is drawn directly under the right eye. The look is dramatic, symbolizing the Third Eye. A calmness takes place as blankness emanates out of Amber’s eyes. One might mistake this to indicate her indifference. Instead I read this as a signal of change. SHE IS THE… THE IS SHE… The Indicator of None the Captivator Some. She walks the line of artistic integrity with a strength we can’t ignore. It is here that only truth can be told… for as we stare deeper into the fold we are met with the baroness of bold.
Desi Santiago & Ye Young Kim form a fusion of fashion shots that function like a live art installation. This style of editorial expression is thrilling. It takes us beyond the typical fashion fare and enters us into the new frontier. Decorative drama adds an element of mystery, as each design is allowed to fulfill it’s destiny. Artisans create dynamic pieces that aren’t about mass market appeal, they are intellectual instruments. I know… I know… it sounds a little heady for an average layout. But, who said anything about average. Clothes cling to the body as easy as they expand. Photographing images backwards beckons us to see beyond our limited view. Inventive blends build cascading fabrics with sudden cuts that invite us to move beyond the norm. Asking that we move outside the lines of expected and travel further down the road of the unknown. Here, Amber’s head is completely covered, but we can see her eyes staring through the holes of humanity. I find it interesting that the head-wrap presented in pink changes our perception of this picture. The presumption of darkness transitions to one of openness, transforming the way we see the imagery. How we exchange ideas. How we present & how we view. These are fundamental in how we process. This is a REVOLUTIONARY Undertaking. Her Transition is A METAMORPHOSIS in Progress.
Roberto Di Cuia keeps Witcomb’s hair pretty natural. Until it’s not. This is a tale that largely takes us through the catacombs of couture and cosmetics. However, at one point the story shifts. We see who we presume is Amber, standing with her arm covering her face, with an absurdly long, blonde wig that falls down her leg. The next shot shows the same wig on floor propping up the crown, as if something was under it. The long strands then expand behind themselves on the floor like a body-less head. The final wigged-out image has Witcomb kneeling on a couch with her back facing us doing a butt-bump. Each shot seems more absurd than the one before, yet, poetically profound. This story symbolizing the many places of which we find ourselves currently captured. Open Scissors threaten to cut off the tongue of the speaker. A virulent demonstration or a brilliant observation. ART OVERFLOWS WITH ABUNDANCE AS ABSTRACT EXPRESSIVENESS INFILTRATES OUR ATMOSPHERE.