Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


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“Missing [Apsara]” Part 1: Expensive Accessories

makeup cropped
Detail of “Missing [Apsara]”: Handmade Ink and Acrylic on mulberry/bamboo paper, 70 x 70cm, 2009

Part 2: “Missing [Apsara]”: Headless
Part 3: “Missing [Apsara]” Supple Status Symbols
Part 4: “Missing [Apsara]” Ramvong
Part 5: “Missing [Apsara]” Sexpats I Have Known

While I painted these tools women use to heighten their features, I thought of several things:

* How Khmer Rouge cadres dressed identically, but the number of ballpoint pens in their pockets indicated their rank

* Women who appraise other women based on the variety and expense of their makeup tubes

* Women the world over who paint our faces and prefer them that way

* Men the world over who don’t like the taste of lipstick

* Sundry toxins in traditional dyes and makeup – like lead and other heavy metals – that slide on the skin like butter [same goes for lead paint onto a canvas]

* Cosmetic companies who make billions out of encouraging women’s anxiety about life-and-death issues like large pores and undereye circles [the west], or freckles & dark skin [Asia/elsewhere], and especially the size of one’s thighs [anywhere wealthy enough to afford an expensive diet program]

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