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I guess I could say that I was artistically inspired by the character and NBC TV series of Hannibal Lecter. Yes, I’m talking about the show that is centered on an ingenuous serial killer who works in law enforcement as a psychiatrist by day and eats humans at night. The man who often hosts dinner parties, serving meticulously prepared food (comprised of human organs). I will not go further into the details of the series for I fear that if I spoil anymore content than I’m about to, you might hate me. But I definitely recommend watching this addictive, creative show anyway if you haven’t already.

You should stop reading here if you don’t want me to ruin a couple of episodes for you.

See, in the show, one of the initial predators said that if one does not honor every part of the fallen, it would simply be murder. My models represent innocence, purity and unawareness. Their beauty is captured in the essence of fully bloomed flowers placed atop their heads.

In one memorable scene, the ‘Chesapeake Ripper’ (a gruesome serial killer) hung a corpse on a blossoming tree. Stripped of clothes, his chest was cut open and his vital organs were replaced by a collection of poisonous flowers with the exclusion of the lungs, which had mysteriously been left intact.

In another episode, a sociopath creates a color wheel of victims by chemically preserving their post-mortem bodies and then positioning them in an eye-like arrangement according to their skin tones.

Both these images, in all its sick and twisted theatrics, inspired the painted visuals of my artwork. In the ‘color wheel’ I had just mentioned, Hannibal found the perpetrator red-handed before the FBI did and decided to complete the piece by putting the artist in his own ‘artwork’. Because I dared to embody the serial killer’s personality (as the protagonist did by empathizing with Hannibal’s mentality), I decided to put myself in my own artwork as well.

Except I think I came across as an obsessive flower sniffer, since that’s exactly what I’m doing in the photo. I tried to reference Hannibal in the slightest, didn’t want to be too literal as the implications behind the pose is already borderline disturbing. Notice how I don’t have flowers on my head, but instead the flowers appear on my face. What you eat is what you are, right? #cannibalism BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION

Makeup Artist, Stylist, Headpiece by Cindy Chen

Photography by Dan McCarthy

Modeled by Meghan Hornblower, Taylor Forst, Nan Localio, Elizabeth Stief, Cindy Chen

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