The new 12-piece makeup set pays homage to the artist with bright hues and vibrant juxtapositions of color Basquiat’s art is known for. Products are named to tap into the artist’s mindset, with lip and eye pencils called “anatomy,” “vivid,” and, “post punk.” However, the launch of the Basquiat x Urban Decay collaboration is somewhat tainted by parent company L’Oreal’s choice in Ruby Rose as the face of the campaign. In fact, the internet had a lot to say about the campaign foregoing a woman of color to launch the Basquiat x Urban Decay capsule collection.
Women of color are under-represented in beauty campaigns as it is, according to The Huffington Post. So, it’s understandable that there’s frustration when L’Oreal decided to go with Rose as the face of the campaign that’s celebrating an African-American artist. True, Rose is known for her punk aesthetic and has a tattoo of Basquiat on her arm. But more importantly, Basquiat is internationally known as one of the 20th century’s greatest artists because of his brilliant authenticity in visually tackling issues of disenfranchisement, systemic racism, and consumer society.
One can’t help but wonder what the artist himself would say about the campaign and the limited edition collection itself.