Date: 2019
Medium: Lacquer on fibreglass
Courtesy: Courtesy the artist and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Martin Margiela has always been interested in the shifting concept of beauty, the way it is constructed, and the elements through which it is expressed.

Particularly intrigued by ‘bad’ taste, he studies the way norms are established and spread. The fake red nail is one of those objects that relates to a certain vision of women—seductive, sexualized, and desirable. Red is a colour that has fallen into the realm of the cliché, of the standardization of women but also of the sports car. The immediacy of this object’s signal intrigues the artist. He is interested in its power, its way of radiating onto beings, between seduction and kitsch-inspired disgust. Nail polish was invented following the development of coloured car varnishes in the early 1920s. Fake nails are extensions that curve, lengthen, and hide the natural nail. Made of plastic, participate in the creation of an artificial female beauty.