Allow me to take a moment for some girl talk. Being a woman is hard work. You have to constantly maintain a pristine appearance, right down to the smallest details – for example, your nails.
And while some of us feel content with a plain nude color or perhaps an adventurous neon hue, others take nail decoration to a higher level that ends up being art. “Nailed” at Subliminal Projects brought that world to light with three-dimensional works and stunning photographs. On the night of the closing reception, visitors could meander into the space and sign up for a free nail job courtesy of Nailing Hollywood. Street art fans also noticed a very familiar face; right when you walked into the space the famous street artist Shepard Fairey casually stood in a corner spinning out a variety of tunes.
As these notes floated through the air, visitors could feast their eyes on the visually complex offerings of the show. Each work ran the gamut of personalities – from New York artist Mickalene Thomas to nail genius Igor Jovic – and visual styles all united by the potential of nails to serve as a dynamic canvas.
Thomas’ photo Negress with Green Nails bypasses the glitz of the other photos for a more intimate portrait of a young woman. Simon Lueck’s work presented visually stunning and carefully thought-out photographs of women with complex nail pieces, their faces obscured one way or another. Together, “Untitled-4092” and “Untitled-4100” explore the possibility of nail art to work as an element of an intriguing piece of art.
And while Fairey kept the music coming, he reflected on his own experience with acetone. Since he’d get a lot of spray paint on his hands, he would remove it with the strong chemical until he realized its harmful effects. Now the spray paint stays on his hands. And the acetone–well it gets to wipe down the nail canvas for an artist’s next work.