Model-Art Collection by Kaori Nik combines fashion and fine art

A gallery opening celebrated the end of a year long collaboration that brought together talented Chicago photographers, designers, models. Taking inspiration from various eras, the works on display married art history, fashion and fine art.

A year ago Kaori Nik started assembling creative teams and holding photoshoot sessions once a month. Collaborating with different artists each month Kaori was fulfilling her artistic vision. The result was eight edition of art photography that covered wide span of historical art eras.

Kaori Nik is a visual artist whose specialties include hair styling, make-up artistry and modeling. She studied at the Salon Professional Academy and has been in the beauty industry for over six years. Kaori’s skills expand beyond fashion, working in photography, creative directing and acrylic painting, she is growing as an artist.

On December 16, 2011 Kaori Nik hosted a gallery opening presenting the result of the year long collaborative project. The collection was exhibited at the Boutique Gallery, where the night began with a presentation from Kaori herself.

The project united and challenged each participating artist’s creativity to produce real art works that encompassed various historical eras: Cubism, the glamorous 50s, Renaissance, Dadaism, the 20s/30s, Artistic Expressionism and Greek Mythology. Kaori Nik exercised her hair and makeup skills in every edition, conforming to each concept.

What prompted you to start this project? What was the goal or the message you had in mind for the Model-Art Collection?

Kaori Nik: The Model-Art Collection stemmed from my need to cultivate a wide rage portfolio of my hair and makeup work. Upon completion, I had planned to move out of Chicago and build further on my artistry. From there I saw it as a project that I could really share with other artists and I thought it would be dope to show how Chicago artist can connect on another level. I’ve always wanted to tap into the gallery industry so what better way than to bring Chicago with me.

Now that all the photoshoots have been completed and the work is ready to be exhibited, is it what you have envisioned it to be when you first thought of the concept?

Kaori Nik: My visions for this project were left open for other artists to be creative and to contribute. Honestly it’s better and worse than I expected. So many different artists showed their true talents and others showed their weaknesses, but it was a real learning experience for everyone. The outcome is absolutely amazing and I’m just glad to have such a large body of work with so many different artists.

Covering different styles in the course of this collaboration, how have you chosen the artists to work with? Was there any criteria, skills or past experience that you were looking for?

Kaori Nik: In December of 2010 I had photographers, models, and designers submit their work to my email and I just began to go through it. I know what I like and I know what I can work with. Even though at the time I wasn’t clear of the themes we were creating from, I was clear of the talent that I wanted to work with and showcase. For photographers clarity and lighting was most important to show my makeup and hair. For models I looked for fresh faces and range. For designers I looked for pieces that were a bit more abstract and organic… nothing “average”.

Having worked with many industry people on this project, what would you say about the talent that is available in Chicago?

Kaori Nik: Chicago has so much to offer. The talent I worked with this year were absolutely amazing. As a creative director it was interesting handling every one’s takes and perceptions while working on our theme. It was nice to see things through their eye and help showcase their light. Chicago can definitely benefit from more collaboration assignments such as this.

The Collection

Pieces De Fine
Concept: Cubism/Graffiti
Photographer: Luis DeAndre
Designer: Ashley Fox, Dye Lyfe
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Victoria Linddell, Blake Christian, Jenny Liu, Macrus Ellis, Bianca Manfredo

Fashion, Beauty photographer Luis DeAndre and racy, urban designer Ashley Fox come together to produce the editorial works of “Pieces De Fine”. The combination of Dye Lyfe’s edge and DeAndre’s high fashion appeal work perfectly to display the Cubism era. The makeup is inspired by Picasso’’s early work as well as the works from 80’’s graffiti art. Abstract updo’s and unique shapes form the hair for this edition.

Concept: 50’s Pop art
Photographer: Aderon Mothersil
Designer: Javier Camacho
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Megan Graveline, Zayden Alexander, Tyke Riggs

Glamour photographer, Aderon Mothersill, adds a colorful twist to this edition inspired by the works of Andy Warhol. Javier Camacho styles in 50s fashion as well as designs a Marilyn Monroe dress. Hair and makeup embody the 50’’s cooler than cool feel.

Concept: The Renaissance woman
Photographer: Devon Hood
Designer: TresBelle Collective
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Marilyn Camacho, Tenia Watson, Ashley Nichole

Beauty photographer, Devon Hood, lights up this set focusing on women of color and voluptuous curves. Emphasizing the body of the early age model, stylists Tresbelle drape models in rich silk fabrics and accessorize with gold’s and metallic. Hair and makeup is inspired by natural beauty and a regal essence.

Concept: Dadaism/The Twilight Zone
Photographer: Christoper Free
Designer: Dwight Overton
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Liz Harvey, Luis DeAndre, Jahmilah Alazam

Fashion and runway photographer Christopher Free contributes to this edition inspired by the mindlessness of Dadaism and the eeriness of the 50’s TV show, The Twilight Zone. Models were styled by designer, Dwight Overton. Hair and makeup based on makeup and hair “don’ts”.

Concept: 20’s/30’s
Photographer: 10Photos
Designer: Still Jazz
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Skye Amelia, Correy De Mon

Urban photographer, Ten Photos, known for the color of his works, puts his spin on this 1930’s and 20’s edition. What makes the edition so interesting is the stylist, personal chef of Still Jazz, Dwayne Thomas. The modern couple where dressed in strawberries, bread dough, lettuces, and more. Hair and makeup themes stayed true to the 20’s and 30’s.

Concept: Greek Mythology
Photographer: Brit Woollard
Designer: Kaori Nik
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Rashidat Owe

Brit Woollard, published photographer, creates canvas worthy pieces of Fitness model Rashidat Owe. This futuristic take on the female warrior and Pandora’s Box draws you in and keeps you excited. Styled by Kaori Nik.

Concept: Artistic Expressionism
Photographer: Bradley Murray
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Kaori Nik

Bradley Murray captures abstract smoke suggestions on chalk board, reminiscent of the 1940s smoke ads with a modern twist. Hair and makeup are 40’s inspired.

Concept: Dia de los Muertos
Photographer: Kaori Nik
Hair and Makeup: Kaori Nik
Models: Carl Harris, Daniel Keener

Visual artist, Kaori Nik, shoots her take on the original Aztec festival, Day of the Dead celebration. Playing with textures and contrast, expressive skull figures are accompanied by bubbles.

This project was a true testament of exceptional results that can be achieved with a great idea, hard work and dedication.

Media crew:
Video Reporter – Raven Mai
Event Video – Tony Rizzo
Event Photography – Julian Favela

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