At its heart, street art is outsider art. But thanks to the commercial success of people such as Shepard Fairey, the debate continues over the point at which a graffiti artist goes from success to sellout. The Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop explored this, among other controversies in the street-art world.
Now, the supposed sellouts have spread to the world of makeup.
New York City-based graffiti artist Chris Kulig (a.k.a. Love Me) has paired with cosmetic powerhouse Smashbox for a limited-edition spring 2013 collection. Does a graffiti artist really need to endorse a high-end makeup line? Apparently, yes—as well as a new Vans shoe line! Of course, it's genius timing, what with a certain love-themed holiday coming up.
Regardless of your definition of artistic integrity, Smashbox's new collection really is a fine set: two eye-shadow palettes, two lipsticks, a powder blush, two lip glosses and, of course, a black liquid eyeliner. The eyeshadow palates are the most eye-catching, featuring five colors you can actually use in Picasso-like packaging, with a plastic layer above the eyeshadow in the shape of Kulig's Love Me logo. The "Entice Me" palate has cooler, shimmery shades (icy blue, navy blue, purple taupe, icy pink and a killer iridescent purple), while the "Admire Me" palate goes warmer and less bold (champagne, matte nude, coral, bronze and dark brown). The shadows have a high pigment and go on incredibly soft. The "Idolize Me" blusher is a poppy pink.
The jet-black eyeliner has a bold, felt-tip, paint-pen applicator that works great for dramatic, thick, cat-eye looks. It goes on dark and stays on long. The "Love Me" lipstick imitates his signature color—bright red—and the "Tempt Me" version is a pink-y coral. Then there are the two lipgloss shades—"Adore Me" (fuchsia pink) and "Charm Me" (nude pink).
With offerings this great, who cares if Kulig's a sellout?