Went to artist UAL graduate Juno Calypso’s exhibition as for the past year I’ve been interested in the themes of her work. I originally came across her when researching for my research paper in a book at Camberwell library called ‘Girl on Girl: Art And Photography In The Age Of The Female Gaze’. It introduced me to a few really interesting female photographers who, although not spoken about in my research paper I found the work to be really interesting – especially those who were looking into ideas of beauty, perfection and the portrayal of women in the media etc. And Juno Calypso was one of those artists that particularly struck me. They also actually had this book at the exhibition also.
Calypso, for this particular discovered this underground house in Nevada that was bought and owned by the greater of cosmetic company Avon. The function of the house seemed to be one of protecting you from the outside world and was in many ways like a bunker but inside was decorated in a very chintzy way.
Just the location of the shoot was, for me, quite fascinating to see as it in part really does depict what was once the really the place where someone lived. But Calypso, again, is one of those artists who looks at female beauty and perhaps the lengths we go to, to ‘beautify’ ourselves and uses facial beauty masks as again another type of mask, which is of course something that has been a motif and interest throughout my work.
There’s something quite both sensual and robotic about the poses she makes. And the sensuality is somewhat forced or jarring while also being quite real.
Along the lines of Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing, the eeriness of the masks creates a subversive way of looking at beauty and perfection, something of course that has been a big thing in my work.