Man Ray advertisement for Venus Body Arts, video by The Commercial Art Lab

Well for once I have a post that has nothing to do with jewelry! I did this video nearly five years ago, as an advertisement for the tattoo and piercing shop, Venus Body Arts, at 31 Avenue A in New York City.  The concept was an homage to Man Ray’s photograph, “Ingres’s Violin” for which Kiki de Montparnasse was the model. He, of course, was inspired by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres but the purpose of the work was to objectify the model. In Man Ray’s photograph she was shown as a violin — an instrument that he could play. In my work, the model is also an object but in this case she is the canvas for the tattoo artist to draw his art.  We had one of the resident tattoo artists pretend to tattoo the violin f-holes on to the model.

Naturally when we cast for this, we looked for a model that had just the right shape — a small hip-to-waist ratio to really accentuate the violin effect.  We ended up casting Irene Josse as Kiki and she did a tremendous job for both the video and still shoots. Makeup was done by Tommy Joiner. The soundtrack is “Electric Fire” by EO. We did the shoot at Ruby Bird Studio which is a warehouse space in Brooklyn. The exposed brick wall turned out to be a perfect backdrop for this concept.

I’m still immensely proud of this video!