Social media is the place for makeup artists to really get their names out there and expand their brands. Sharing transformation photos of their work is one of the many ways that an artist can gain clientele and grow their fanbase. One makeup artist, known as @PaintDatFace on Instagram, recently showcased his own transformation photo. This particular picture was met with a lot of social media backlash.
The Los Angeles-based makeup artist has been accused of blackface after he posted a photo of that showed his rendition of changing a white woman into a woman of another race. Commenters immediately said that the photo resembled a modern-day version of blackface.
Although the original photo has since been deleted off of his Instagram, he posted a screenshot with a caption stating his reasoning for the transformation. It looks like he already expected for the backlash to happen but still gave no apology.
The transformation that I recently posted of a woman transformed into a woman of another culture has been highly criticized by those who don't understand the message. I deleted the post, not because I had regret or saw wrongdoing, but because of the negativity social media turned it into. It's been assumed by most that my intentions were to transform my model into a black woman. Truth is, my intentions were to keep the look vague enough to be relatable to many women of different cultures, but the true inspiration of the overall look came from my Cuban heritage. Although I am saddened by how many people are angered, I can't offer an apology for my artwork and for what I find to be beautiful. The transformation came from a place of love and was not about mocking one's race, but rather about celebrating it. I am so proud to be illustrating a woman representing several cultures along with their achievements, beliefs and histories. Art is interpreted differently by all and sometimes it's uncomfortable, but making this world a better place starts with our mindset – thinking positive, showing love and practicing unity.
He made it clear that he didn’t delete the original post out of regret and admitted no actual wrongdoing. He claimed that he only deleted the post because of the negativity that was surrounding the picture. He did not believe that his work was about changing the woman’s race and he said that he was not going to be issuing an apology anytime soon. He also stated that he was surprised that his work turned into a “racial scandal.”
Here is the caption in full:
This only seemed to add fuel to the fire.
Since then, Twitter users have fired back, explaining that this is definitely blackface and not art.The Twitter hashtag #paintdatface is now filled with women of color saying that if he really wanted to celebrate diversity and women of color he could have hired women of color to model for him.
Others defended him, calling it art.
What do you think? Is this self-expression or blackface?