Katerina Jebb walks the line between fine art and commercial work with remarkable skill. The Paris-based British artist has previously been tapped by actor Tilda Swinton to photograph the campaign for her perfume with Etat Libre d’Orange, create album artwork for Tori Amos (1998’s From the Choirgirl Hotel
) and direct the ad for Kate Moss’s latest fragrance, Vintage
. Jebb's new body of work, Simulacrum and Hyperbole
, opening this week at the Gloria Maria Gallery in Milan, channels her experience in the commercial world to create subversive short films that feature an array of leading ladies in surprising guises. “They are conspiratorial works,” she explains, “where the subjects willingly parody their own identity, persuading us to buy imaginary products. The smiles are plastic and the women are knowing.” Jebb has been shooting the pseudo-science advertisements—starring Tilda Swinton touting a miraculous skin cream called Life Eraser and Kylie Minogue as the face of Beautiful Body
insurance company, among other odd endorsements—on a shoestring budget since May of this year, researching extensively and taking inspiration from sources including eminent futurist Ray Kurzweil and LSD pioneer Timothy Leary as well as 60s make-up commercials. The result is a witty commentary on the vernacular of consumerism: “The viewer is swayed into a false sense of security via misrepresentation,” Jebb reflects. “The surface may appear to be smooth and luxurious but underlying it is a complex infrastructure.”
Discover more about Jebb's wickedly conceived, celebrity-endorsed beauty enhancements here.