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Identity Revealed: a filmed triptych by Ellis Faas

Ellis Faas - Identity Revealed

Earlier this week, I received an email about a new venture by Ellis Faas—a short film. I’ve always been intrigued by her, as she is one of the most successful makeup artists in the industry. Her line is also brilliant, and she began as a photographer.

Last Thursday, the former queen of the Netherlands Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix opened a new exhibition at De Nieuwe Kerk (which is an old church) in Amsterdam: “Magical Africa – Masks and Sculptures from Ivory Coast. The Artists Revealed”. For this exhibition, the curators commissioned a film by makeup artist/photographer/filmmaker Ellis Faas, asking Ellis to draw inspiration from the traditional masks from Ivory Coast.



“Since ancient times, humans have been using masks – in order to express power and authority; to feel self-confident; to stand out or to hide behind; to not be recognised and disappear into the masses. Not only by traditional masks, but also by disguising and ornamental elements such as clothing, jewellery, hair and makeup. But can one truly change one’s identity, or is it merely a temporary transformation? And who or what defines someone’s true identity? Is it the mask, is it the human being behind the mask, or maybe even the creator of the mask?” — Ellis



If you happen to find yourself in Amsterdam from now until February 15—which, if you are, LUCKY!—you can see the triptych and the exhibition at De Nieuwe Kerk, on Dam Square next to the palace. Otherwise, you can see it here:

I loved it a lot; it’s quite a thoughtful approach to makeup and its relation to us, wearing it in daily life. I often think about just how much makeup transforms a person, in ways beyond the physical areas. I kind of think that I become a more confident version of myself if I feel a little put together. Of course, this has nothing to do with the film—just something that it led me to ponder on.

You might also enjoy this behind-the-scenes, making-of film, where you can see the Ellis Faas products (and Ellis!) in action:

Visiting address
De Nieuwe Kerk, Dam, Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 638 69 09

Opening hours
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The ticket office closes at 4.30 p.m.)
Closed 25 December 2014 and 1 January 2015

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  1. Noodles says

    Oh wow! What an inspirational and thought provoking short film. I think the concept of makeup as masks in a positive way is a strong and relatable message. We use makeup to transform and also as armour in many ways.

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