Makeup artist Pierre La Roche preparing David Bowie for a performance as Aladdin Sane, 1973.
If there’s one creative constant you can rely on in these times of darkness, it’s David Bowie. The late musician, artist, and style icon has a body of work that’s worthy of many lifetimes and his exuberant, all-embracing spirit lives on in every facet of it. For a group of makeup artists in isolation, revisiting Bowie’s wide breadth of epochal makeup looks has served as a powerful coping mechanism amid social distancing.
Over the past few weeks, Grace Ahn, Justin Lentz, Phoebe Ogan, Rachael Vang, Valerie Harvey, and Ivan Castro have participated in a “Makeup Houseparty” series, in which they gather on the group-video-chatting application and each take on a select visual theme. “Connecting with my fellow artists and sharing the results has been a lifeline in these uncertain times,” explains Lentz, who was working as the makeup artist for Madonna’s Madame X tour before its remaining dates were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. The latest theme? None other than Starman himself. Not only did it present an extraordinary opportunity to flex their skills, using advanced techniques to perfect Bowie’s directional looks, but the gathering gave them the chance to wax poetic about how he’s impacted them as artists.