Yoko Ono is usually a bit much for me: I find things like smile apps and instruction pieces that tell you to “Make a wish” and “Keep wishing” cloyingly precious. (Maybe I’m just a cranky, cynical New Yorker.) But Ono has a new video called “Make-Up Tips for Men” (made as part of her clothing line for Opening Ceremony) that I actually adore, precisely because it cuts the sweetness with camp.
Because it’s Ono, it’s not like these are practical make-up tips. Instead, men are given commands like, “When you see a rainbow in the sky. Breathe it in,” for daytime make-up and, “Let everything in your room shine and sparkle,” for evening make-up. The instructions are accompanied by a beeping tone, a clubby beat, breathy “uh-huh”s, and the voice of Ono herself (I think) throwing out random phrases, including the gem, “I’m throwing away the mirror.”
The visuals are probably the best part, though — the face and upper torso of a very pretty boy covered in clouds and daubs of pink and purple drift across the backdrop of a sky-blue room; another pretty boy gets a sparkly Afro; a third appears to materialize from TV static. The video’s whole aesthetic, from the free-floating red telephone receiver to the digital rendering of the skeleton of a dance club, seems to easily drift along the currents of net art — with an added bit of fabulousness.