Benisi Penaloza
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Benisi Penaloza

Benisi Penaloza




Make Under Up, 2021

Make Under Up is about me grappling with makeup, its use, and my relationship with it.  I think some of us forget about what’s under the cosmetics and even come to despise the bare skin underneath. Technology and social media have only exacerbated insecurities about our own skin, and the textures and divots that we all have, and thanks to filters some of us don’t want to take pictures without a smoothing mask or are extremely uncomfortable with raw unedited photos of ourselves. 

I use makeup in my art practice as a way of taking back control of the hold make-up has on me, reminding myself it is a tool I can use, not a psychological crutch I need to rely on. I used wood, something natural, as a metaphor for  human skin; its grooves reminding me of the wrinkles I begin to see form on my face, the knots that remind me of my moles, and the rough surface like the textured skin on my face filled with deep holes from years of acne. Under artificial lighting and the camera flash, the makeup creates a blur effect on the wood just like it does on the skin. If you look closely, you can even see the glow of peach fuzz on the surface.