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Artist Gillian Wearing Puts On Other People

Tuner Prize winner Gillian Wearing is a master of disguise. These silicone masks and costumes are uncanny! With her varied, oeuvre-spanning show now open at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Chelsea, we’re drawn to her tribute self-portraits as idols Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Wearing has also recreated photos of her mother, her brother, and herself as a three-year-old child with unsettling authenticity. She calls it “liberating.”

For her new video piece Secrets and Lies, Wearing liberated others by posting an open-call online and recording the intimate confessions of strangers hidden under grotesque masks. Check out some of the artist’s best disguises, starting with this portrait of doll-like supermodel Lily Cole wearing a chipped Lily Cole mask. How meta!


As Lily Cole. Courtesy of Gillian Wearing

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