The three artists invited to participate in the inaugural residency are Uzumaki Cepeda, who creates faux-fur environments designed as safe havens for communities of color; Gabriela Ruiz, a mixed media artist who works with vibrant color palettes to explore ideas of self, home, and environment; and Randijah Simmons, a photographer and co-founder of community creative studio The Babe Cave LA.
“I wanted to create a culture. Not just a studio. I didn’t want to exclude anybody. I wanted to plant a seed so people could grow, and that meant everyone was welcome.”
– Davis Factor, Founder and SVP of Global Creative at Smashbox Cosmetics
Each artist received a grant to invest in materials, tools, and resources to bring their visionary projects to life. Additionally, participants were invited to take advantage of the brand’s incredible breadth of resources:
SMASHBOX STUDIO SPACE & GEAR
Artists had access to various Smashbox Studios services and tools such as: lighting equipment, photography equipment, and studio space.
SMASHBOX EXPERTISE & MENTORSHIP
Artists were also introduced to Smashbox Cosmetics veterans who provided guidance on photography, lighting, branding and design, and makeup in science and practice, including:
Davis Factor, Smashbox Cosmetics & Studios Founder; Smashbox Cosmetics Head of Global Creative
Lori Taylor Davis , Smashbox Cosmetics Global Lead Pro Artist
Gabriel Eid, Smashbox Cosmetics & Glam Glow Vice President/Global Creative Director
Jill Tomandl, Smashbox Cosmetics Vice President of Product Development, Innovation & Brand Sustainability
Brad Lansill, Smashbox Photographer
Smashbox will continue to share content across its social media that encapsulates artists’ projects, their communities, and their journeys in evolving beauty standards.
To further engage diverse communities and audiences, artists presented their final projects in a celebratory group show at Smashbox Studios on March 31, 2022.
MEET THE OPEN STUDIOS ARTISTS
Bronx-born artist Uzumaki Cepeda has risen to cultural prominence through a consistent visual language that creates soft spaces for people of color. As a first-generation Dominican-American, Uzumaki’s work examines safety, comfort, and agency through the lens of those often left unprotected in public life and policy. Using faux fur and spanning sculpture, painting, and installation, she creates havens for her community to see themselves in moments of comfort.
For her Smashbox Open Studios project, Uzumaki built a walk-in installation featuring a fur-covered vanity and self-portrait series that explores her own beauty ideals.
Self-taught photographer Randijah Simmons has built an expansive practice on seeing the beauty in her community through a unique lens. Raised in South Central LA, Randijah’s experience as a photographer, set designer, and creative director laid the foundation for The Babe Cave, a safe and affordable workspace and community for all to create images, and support their peers in doing the same.
Randijah’s project, a portrait series combining real and surreal imagery, countering decades-long practices of erasure of Black women and voices, by exploring the innovation and evolution of Black beauty.
Gabriela Ruiz is a self-taught artist whose practice spans sculpture, video, painting, and design. Combining vibrant colors and textures with found objects and industrial material, Gabriela creates installations that explore notions of home, self, and environment. Drawing on her childhood and heritage, her work reflects the DIY work ethic she was raised under, the vibrancy of Mexican cultural and artistic traditions, and her early exposure to subculture and fantasy as a means to escape reality.
An exploration of Brown hyper-surrealism, Gabriela’s collection of portraits reimagined beauty ideals from an altered point of view. Building out a unique set for each portrait, she created a canvas for her subjects to take on colorful new personas.
ABOUT DAVIS FACTOR
The great-grandson of cosmetic legend Max Factor, Davis Factor was raised in the family business. At the age of 10, a visit to the set of a Max Factor shoot left Davis intrigued with the creative process, from hair and makeup prep to styling and shooting. He received his first camera at 13 and began shooting everything that caught his eye. The passions that capture his imagination today were the source of inspiration at an early age: As a teenager, Davis felt right at home shooting celebrities behind the scenes using his family’s products on beauty shoots.
His early experiences led Davis to the Art Center, where he honed in on his craft. After working fashion shoots in Paris, Davis landed his first job with Seventeen, shot at Industria Super Studio in New York. The creative atmosphere of the shoot prompted an epiphany: Davis realized that he wanted to create a comparable space in his hometown of Los Angeles. In 1990, Smashbox Studios was born.
A Warhol-esque environment, Smashbox Studios offered a space where artists could create and feel at home. Davis went on to find a modeling agency, beauty agency, and ultimately Smashbox Cosmetics. Through his dedication to art and creative expression, Davis has become a leader in turning Los Angeles into an epicenter of photography.
His work has appeared in Allure, Esquire, L’uomo Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair. Davis has created advertising campaigns for Smashbox Cosmetics, Maybelline, Pepsi, American Express, Guess, Candies, and Mercedes-Benz amongst others.
Since selling Smashbox to the Estée Lauder Companies, Davis has served as head of Global Creative for Smashbox Cosmetics. He is currently working on his first book and show with Fahey Klien, which will provide a glimpse into his journey as a photographer, entrepreneur, and creative pioneer.
ABOUT SMASHBOX COSMETICS
“Everything carries out of the studio into reality.” – Davis Factor
Born in a Los Angeles photo studio in 1990 by acclaimed photographer Davis Factor, Smashbox very quickly became a creative hub for world-class photographers, actors, models and musicians. The creative energy on set showed no signs of slowing down – except when the team had to stop for makeup touch ups. In 1996, Smashbox Cosmetics was officially born.
In 2000, Davis created Photo Finish, our original long-lasting primer. Now a cult-favorite, it was made to withstand any type of light, camera, continuous movement, and work hard all day to keep makeup looking better, longer.
Today, we go beyond the studio to create high performance, cruelty-free color cosmetics, which are developed, tested, and vetted by our hard-working crew – all made to keep up with anything life throws at you.
Additional information may be found at smashbox.com | Instagram: @smashboxcosmetics | Twitter: @smashbox | YouTube: www.youtube.com/SmashboxCosmetics
For press inquiries, interviews and more information please contact PURPLE at [email protected].
SOURCE Smashbox Cosmetics