Beautific Vision, 2009
Lucite, acrylic and vinyl,
60 x 12 x 12 inches
In the Christian religion, Beatific Vision is the visual realization of God that one is privy to upon entrance into Heaven. Those who reach this vision are left with an everlasting feeling of happiness and being blessed.
I remember when I was young thinking that my grandmother’s bathroom was like a drugstore. The cabinets were lined with rows of unopened shampoos, cosmetics and soaps. But one product always sticks out in my memory – perhaps for it’s iconic pink and green packaging and shape -Maybelline Mascara.
Over the years the tubes would accumulate and were never thrown away. The labels would upgrade to a more modern font, but the bottle’s shape and watermelon coloring never change, even to this day. As a child I would watch my Grandmother putting on makeup.The Maybelline mascara in particular would be applied regularly and she would say the same phrase with each application, “A little powder and a little paint makes an old lady something she ain’t”. As she got older her love of the product grew and she took to not just using it on her eyelashes but also to add dark streaks to her naturally all-white hair. ’It makes me look younger’ she’d say, without a care that she was leaving dark smudges on things she’d come into contact with afterwards.
In her 90s, my grandmother needed a lot of care. In an effort to keep her comfortable in this chapter of her life, we chose to keep her in her home surrounded by her favorite belongings. With that in mind, before she passed, I created this ‘slice of heaven’ for her – a sneak peek of what her beatific vision might be- one last tube that would last forever.