Appreciation of art: Sir John’s masterclass goes beyond makeup
Previously, if you were a successful celebrity makeup artist or hairstylist, you would strike big and write a book (see: Kevyn Aucoin, Bobbi Brown, and Jemma Kidd). At least that’s how I remember it. But these days, those who beautify A-listers for a living don’t put pen to paper, they put their mouths to the mic and meet their fans face to face with live master classes. Jen Atkin did. Mario Dedivanovic did it. And now Sir John is doing it, right in the middle of New York Fashion Week. But that’s not your average “learn to look like your favorite celebrity” type of agreement. Sure, you’ll walk away with some great advice (more on that in a second), but you’ll also walk away with something a lot more, something that will help you better understand how a professional makeup artist works and thinks. Would you expect less from someone who works with Beyoncé for a living?
It’s not even called a master class. Of course, there will be an “intimate beauty seminar” during the event, but only after walking through an instillation of works of art – paintings, three-dimensional pieces and video – inspired by the best Sir John’s makeup job. It seems pointless, but the Sir John Beauty Gallery aims to give customers a better understanding of makeup as an art form. “I want people to see how art and beauty are parallel and coincide because there is no major difference between what [artists] what we do and what we do on a daily basis is just a different medium, “explains the former (handsome) artist and art history student.” I want them to look at the makeup of a completely different way. “
To do this, Sir John called on the skills of various artists, including painters Santiago (“Santi”) Sigüenza and Sarah golis, illustrators Donald robertson and John zylstra, and installation artist Ya Levy Laford. “Honestly, it’s a second master class,” he admits. “The goal for me is to bring [attendees] to an environment that pushes their knowledge beyond what makeup really is. Everything is so literal today – how do I get around, hack this, hack that. That’s cool, but let’s also discuss why we’re doing cat eye; why Cleopatra influenced Sophia Loren, who went on to influence Madonna, who influenced me and my work with Beyoncé. I want to spark people’s knowledge and create a place of inspiration and aspiration. “