Jean-Michel Basquiat: a name that remains unsullied in artistic eminence, even amidst the ashes of a foregone, fevered time of cultural heat, when graffiti plastered the streets of New York and hip-hop was on the rise. His work challenged conventional composition and provoked thought, with an agenda ranging from simply paying homage to the jazz scene (Charlie Parker in particular; see Bird on Money) to protesting inequality and injustice in pieces such as Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart). Basquiat’s style was heavily neo-expressionist, as he’d reinterpret recognisable subjects, including skulls and bodies, and give them new life through a synthesis of colours, shapes and visual layers.
It is this defining spirit of dauntlessness, and a will to deconstruct and reinvent the norm, that conceptualised Urban Decay’s emergence, too. In particular, tapping vicariously into the vivid dynamism of Basquiat’s artwork, the limited edition UD Jean-Michel Basquiat Collection presents three colour-splashed palettes inspired by his paintings and his life, three new lippie shades, and three 24/7 glide-on eye pencils.
Both the bright, poppy Tenant Eyeshadow Palette and the more tame, neutral Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette ($62 each) feature eight gorgeous shades made from Urban Decay’s Pigment Infusion System, which promises lush, indulgent, durable eyeshadows great for blending and a smooth finish. The palettes include a double-ended brush as well, for choice and control. Meanwhile, the four-pan Gallery Blush Palette ($52) offers two shades of blush, along with a bronzer and highlighter, all of which are crafted to suit any skin tone and last eight hours, courtesy of Urban Decay’s special Afterglow formula. Each of the three palettes is wrapped in canvas, encased with a print of one of Basquiat’s many works, and fitted with a small cutout to turn the palette into a mini art piece apt for hanging and displaying.
As for the lippies, find three new and exclusive Vice Lipstick shades ($29 each) inspired by the colours of Basquiat’s works: the neutral sienna Epigram, medium pink-purple Exhibition, and nude-taupe Abstract. They’re all sheathed in canvas prints of his art pieces and make use of Urban Decay’s Pigment Infusion System for a visually sumptuous and generously creamy quality.
And to finish it off, Urban Decay has incorporated super moisturising ingredients, such as jojoba and cottonseed oil, and vitamin E, into three new 24/7 Eye Pencils ($32 each), which are designed to resemble art pencils. Amidst these vibrant eyeliner shades of the neon green Post Punk, the sienna matte Anatomy, and the bright teal Vivid, enjoy waterproof, blendable creaminess that’ll last.
Jean-Michel Basquiat to the core. May his legacy live.
Available from May 11 at all Sephora stores and online at sephora.sg, and from May 25 at Urban Decay stores at Takashimaya, VivoCity and Bugis Junction.
Text Odette Yiu
Images Urban Decay