As we muddle through the first global pandemic in over 100 years, COVID-19 has forced so many changes in our world. We are all changed. We are afraid of losing a loved one or catching an unpredictable virus. We have slowed down and are consuming less. We are working more than ever and in the most difficult conditions or not able to work at all. This pandemic is different for us all. These changes are hard. Isolation is hard. As Paulo Coelho wrote, “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.” 

PHOTO EDITING: Hunter Douglas

International Beauty Industry Award Winner (2018 Winner Best Avant-Garde, 2019 Finalist Best Use of Glitter) Isidro Valencia is taking these challenges and creating beautiful symbolic artistry. Social distancing means he does not have a client to create his artistry on so he uses himself as a canvas.

As these times of uncertainty keep spiraling in different directions, artist‍ G. Rios (@soirart2020) tries to depict emotions of uncertainty and confusion in his mixed media piece, “Lazarus.”

The artist shows an innocent adolescent, who is lost in the turmoil of a human crisis. His eyes are lost, just like the idea of being together with your loved ones is lost during these difficult times of social isolation. The extreme coloring represents the harsh moment in Lazarus’ life, moments that are controlled by society and not by him.

“You will never realize how many great things you have so close to you until something bad happens. I tried to keep my artistic mind busy.”

Drowning in an ocean of blue paint, Lazarus tries to survive, but the social conflict is making his survival difficult. The use of the color blue symbolizes the turbulence in his life and the sad and lonely time that he is experiencing.

2018 Winner International Beauty Industry Best Avante-Garde “Despeirito Isomnio.” Isidro Valencia

Makeup artist‍ Isidro Valencia gave life to the character of Lazarus using his signature extravagant style. Through texture and makeup innovation, Valencia brings to life the essence of the character and depicts Lazarus’ sadness using the human body as a canvas and makeup from brands like Make Up Forever, Mehron, Sigma, Estee Lauder and Inglot as his paint.

Through new textures, a sea of emotions emerge; strength, weakness, sadness, happiness, disappointment and hope are all mixed in a movement of different colors. The vibrant colors help Valencia transmit emotions and showcase his mastering of artistic makeup . Through the eyes of Valencia, “Lazarus” personifies turbulence, but at the same time, the character will find freedom from the struggle, thanks to his steadfast hope.

I have been dealing with the fear, sadness and emotions of social conflicts associated with the Coronavirus… It is a sad situation, but I see this problem as a motivation for all of us to be strong, positive, creative, and be more human

The original “Lazarus” piece by G. Rios and Isidro Valencia’s recreation

Valencia describes his experience of the pandemic and how it inspired this creative depiction on human canvas from the mixed media piece of Lazarus. “Just like the story of Lazarus, I have been dealing with the fear, sadness and emotions of social conflicts associated with the coronavirus. Restrictions are very firm in my area. Everything is pretty much shut down except for food and emergency items. This situation obviously is affecting not just me personally, but a lot of us. It is a sad situation, but I see all this problem as a motivation for all of us to be strong, positive, creative, and be more human. You will never realize how many great things you have so close to you until something bad happens. I tried to keep my artistic mind busy.” 

On how this pandemic is affecting the International Beauty Industry he said, “We will be working and back to normal soon for sure. And please beauty industry, don’t complain about a rainy day, but instead enjoy it, enjoy your coffee at home, your bowl of cereal, or just a simple homemade quesadilla, call your family and tell them how much you love and miss them, act goofy, listen to music, read a nice book and help others if you have the opportunity. People are dying globally and some of us are so fortunate because we have a roof over our heads and something to eat. Everything can be possible. Hang in there… be strong, safe, and thankful!” 

ORIGINAL STORY AND ART PAINTING. G. Ríos
PHOTO EDITING: Hunter Douglas

For more inspiration from Isidro Valencia find him on Instagram: @Valencia0612

To be featured in a future IBI Editorial please email hello@beautyawards.com.

WRITTEN BY
Eliza Kanner

Eliza is a brand & social media manager in the Boston area.

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