Celebrated make up artist Val Garland has worked with Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, and created campaigns for Dior, Topshop and Mulberry. In her first book Validated, she looks back on some of the most memorable work from an amazing career.
As the internationally renowned fashion editor and stylist Karl Plewka points out in his introduction to the book: “Val Garland could not be invented. She is not the classic version of the creative eccentric, for she is multi-layered and complex, spontaneous and unpredictable, a stranger to both the banality of formula and the tiresome self doubt that might plague some creatives. Her life’s work – ranging from beautiful masks, indolent and kittenish, to subversive, visceral daubings – proves this time and again.”
Image by Luca Cannonieri
“Val Garland is a dichotomy between authority and rebellion. She has the appearance and calmly confident demeanour of an elegant gallery owner, but one who eyes the world with the scrutiny of a truly radical image-maker. Makeup can be a dramatic device, and much of Val’s work has the power to make the audience mentally sit up straight and pay attention. The images collected in this book demonstrate how a true artist’s vision can endlessly propagate ideas through many mediums and across multiple genres.”
Above: Image by Tim Walker Below: Image by Inez and Vinoodh
“Val’s work transports us over fantastical terrains, from the intricacy of William Morris-like patterns to psychedelic paisley print swirls, from raw hypermodernity to dewy, erotic veils and savage, graphic contours. This is a book that showcases the incredible art of the makeup artist, whose eye can travel the face and body and ultimately effect a transformation, and, at times, a transfiguration.”
“A velvet lip can look very erotic.” Val Garland
‘You can take pictures on your own but if you’re trying to create characters or tell stories you can’t do it on your own. You have to collaborate with people that have the ability to find the essence of what you’re trying to describe.’ Tim Walker
“A journalist once said to me, ‘People don't expect you to do gorgeous makeup, you do extreme.’ And I thought, I can do that and I do do beautiful makeup, but I like the unexpected – something challenging that makes you question something or stop to look. That's more interesting to me.” Val Garland
Images above by Tim Walker
Karl sums it up: “What is always most surprising is how these many makeup visions, in all their diversity, somehow all come from the same source: Val Garland’s apparently limitless imagination and extraordinary psyche. This isn’t just a book about makeup or the artist who created these outstanding images, it is a monument to the myriad forms and interpretations of true beauty.”
Validated is out now. Follow Val on Instagram here.