Joanne Gair :: The Art of Illusion

Joanne Gair is an artist and image maker who has emerged as the premiere make-up artist/body painter in the world.   Originally from New Zealand, Gair had a keen interest in art photography and exploring different mediums, which is what eventually led her down the path as an illusionist and to the United States.  

As a make-up artist and body painter, Gair has worked worldwide with the top photographers, directors, super models and celebrities.  Her work spans all media, with many memorable editorial covers and layouts, fashion campaigns, advertising,  music videos, commercials and motion pictures to her credit. 

Among a few of the celebrities she has been associated with in her career are Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kim Basinger, Christina Aguilera, Sophia Loren, Demi Moore and Lady Gaga.  By being an essential part of their evolving looks, Gair has been able to establish treasured relationships with these clients.  Her work with Madonna spanned 10 years and includes numerous music videos (Express Yourself, Vogue, Fever, Rain, Frozen), the Blonde Ambition Tour and its subsequent feature documentary Truth or Dare.

Gair’s extensive work with editorial (Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Black Book, Harper's Bazaar), fashion campaigns (Donna Karan, Versace, Victoria’s Secret, Guess, bebe) and cosmetic companies (L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Oil of Olay, Rimmel and M.A.C Cosmetics), has established her as a fixture in the Fashion Industry.  Her editorial work spilled over to a two year stint as beauty editor for New York based Black Book magazine.

Almost everyone has seen the August 1992 issue of Vanity Fair, featuring Demi Moore wearing nothing but a suit of body paint.  This cover earned Gair worldwide recognition and put her at the pinnacle of the body art genre.  The brilliantly painted swimsuits in the 1999 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, featured a twelve page layout using six models as the canvases for Gair’s art.  The bathing suits (replicas of original designs) exemplify Gair’s close attention to detail and sense of realism that have made her the master of the art of illusion.  Her work has now become a yearly fixture in the SI Swimsuit Issue.

Gair has been featured in numerous television programs and magazine articles about her work. They include two top rated episodes of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not?”; “E! Style On”; and “Coming Home” an hour long New Zealand based series which showcased the lives of famous expatriate Kiwi’s. The periodicals include Picture; American Photo; 1st Hold; and Make-Up Artist Magazine.  Gair’s highlight as an artist occurred when over 50 of her most famous works were presented in the Vodafone Body Art Exhibition at the Auckland Museum in New Zealand.  The images spanned Gair’s career to date and featured the work of many of the great photographers she has been associated with. 

Gair’s first book Paint A’ Licious was released in October of 2005 and featured over 40 new photographed and body painted images.  Her second book Body Painting Masterpieces By Joanne Gair, a retrospective of her career to date, was published in 2006. Sports Illustrated released a collection of Gair's body painted swimsuits in the 2007 book In The Paint - The Art of Joanne Gair.

Joanne Gair's artistry can be seen in consecutive year campaigns for Sobe Life Water featuring a body painted Ashley Greene and Jessica Szhor. Her make-up on Lady Gaga is featured in the M.A.C. Cosmetics Viva Glam campaign and also Charles Jourdan worldwide Fall 2011 fashion campaign. Gair's body painting is currently featured on Heidi Klum for Astor Cosmetics One & Only advertisements and on a co-branding project with Nike for their LunarEclipse + 2 running shoe.

Joanne Gair continues to drive herself to explore and experiment in her work, in an effort to bring something new to a project every time.  In an industry besieged by trend followers, Gair has established herself as the trendsetter.




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