Mascara Forests

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Mascara Forests

These lithographs and watercolor drawings resemble serene winter landscapes until the viewer notices that the trees are actually mascara brush tips and other eyelash beauty implements. It is rumored that Aoki actually used mascara liquid as a medium until she became discouraged by frequent “clumping” and returned to lithographic tusche.

Note the ominous “mascara slick” that oozes across the terrain. Perhaps this sinister river represents the darker side of eye-beauty, as early mascara formulas caused blindness and even death…

The myriorama (or neverending landscape), presented here as the framed original and as an interactive installation in the Turner Museum lobby, is based on an imagined landscape by Kathy Aoki. She created the original intaglio prints using Photoshop, a wacom stylus, and photopolymer plates. The resulting intaglio prints were handcolored with watercolor.

All twelve images keep the same horizon line and two other points of connection, such that the “cards” may be reordered again and again to create new landscapes. The total number of combinations from the twelve images is 479,001,600. Inspiration for the project comes from reproductions of card sets published in the 19th century.

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