Vanity – James Jean

I’m one of those women who puts their make up on at the start of the day and that’s it. I don’t carry a small make up bag with me, filled with the essentials to touch up through out the day. I’m the same with my hair. I do it once then, come hell or high water, I will look like what I look like by the end of the day. If that means I look like Kiss after a hard concert and a nights sleep in a bush, so be it. Now before you think I’m knocking those women who really do take care of themselves, I’m not, I actually have some admiration for the dedication they have to their appearance, but I’m actually just a bit lazy in all honesty, I will look for the quickest route to achieve the outcome I want, so with the invention of longer lasting make up, my prayers have pretty much been answered.

The title of Jean’s work, plays out on many levels in this painting. The dressing table that the women is seated at, better known as a vanity table, with the large mirror sat centrally. A vanity screen next to her, and finally the actions the women herself is taking.

Vanity in the true sense is described as “Excessive pride in ones own appearance”, which Jean demonstrates so vividly in this image.

The women is staring vacantly in to a mirror, while seemingly feeding the butterfly head wear on cabbage. The rest of her appearance almost dower in comparison to what she can see in the mirror.

The use of butterflies as her dressing I find really interesting. In comparison to the human life span a butterfly’s is very short at 12 months, and to me this says that superficial beauty fades. You can see a fallen, brightly coloured wing on the floor next to the women, as if the dressing is already starting to slip away from her. She is too consumed with her appearance to notice.

Jean’s work is often psychedelic, and verge on the surreal in the most beautiful way. His work shows echoes of Dalism, and show an inspired and multi cultural mind.

If you want to see more of Jean’s work you can view it here

Why not tell me what you see in this picture in the comments…


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