Australian performance artist and drag provocateur Leigh Bowery remains an iconic inspiration to designers and makeup artists with his experimental costumes and makeup.
“Dress as though your life depends on it or don’t bother… Rather than do a painting on a canvas or sculpting with clay, I put all these ideas onto myself.” – Leigh Bowery
Leigh Bowery (March 26, 1961-December 31,1994)
He was a polysexual Australian performance artist, club promoter, drag provocateur, fashion designer that shocked London in the 80s and 90s with his outrageous costumes and makeup that pushed traditional notions of beauty and bordered on grotesque. He used extreme self-expression and hyperfeminism to reshape his appearance and in the process, inspired a new generation of designers like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. Bright body paint was common as were over-exaggerated lips. He loved the term “new romantic” that celebrated the art of getting ready. Boy George called him “modern art on legs.” Lucien Freud painted a whole series of nude portraits of him. Check out the documentary The Legend of Leigh Bowery.