Sara Cwynar – Tracy

<p></p><p>Sara Cwynar’s film documents Tracy—the subject of a series of the artist’s photographs—undergoing the rigors of having make-up applied. With an electronic soundtrack by Teddy Panopolous that alternates between eerie and bubbly, the video is at once anxiety-inducing and beautiful. The process of painting Tracy’s face appears, at times, to be a painful surgical process, but the fear of physical distress is sidetracked by the dazzle of the luscious textures and colors being applied: a supernaturally acid-red lipstick and neon light-blue and orange eye shadow mesmerize the viewer. Make-up’s visceral trickery is laid bare: cosmetics can be both subjugators and sources of power.</p><p></p><p><br></p><p></p><p>Sara Cwynar’s films and composite photographs court feelings of time passing and highlight the commodification of gender. Her works demonstrate how the once familiar becomes foreign; how the fetishized object loses its luster; how glamour fades. The artist is interested in the ways that design and popular images work upon our psyches, the ways they infiltrate our consciousness, and how surfaces—cosmetics, fashion, styling—are weaponized to infiltrate our inner life. </p> <p></p>