It took me a little while to make up my mind about Chantel Beam. Discovered on Flickr; I spied a gawdy, brightly lit still-life work (the one with the cat above) and found myself immediately digging around her account for too long (surprises around every corner – couldn’t stop). I thenencroached upon her website and found the video featured directly above which made me dredge up memories of Kenneth Anger’s early work and from there my mind darted to Valley of the Dolls and that’s when I was set to keep basking in Beam’s eerie glow. How could not, what with lines like
I fucking love my lipstick. It’s the blood of my prey. My kill.
coming out of her work? Impossible to stop.
Her photography skills fuse embellished makeup and kitsch surrounding with androgynous models and (ab)noral circumstances. There is something intentionally ‘off’ about her work, something that creeps close to that edge and desperately wants to pull you over into the abyss hand-in-hand. I’m inclined to follow.