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Glass Blowing: art made of used cosmetics

I created the mosaic Glass Blowing ten years ago. In 2023, looking at the glass blower hanging in my house, I realize that without planning it at all, I have created a time capsule. During this time, fashion trends, beauty standards and perceptions have evolved, and the daily habit of painting nails with regular nail polish has been replaced by the much more durable gel polish. The mosaic has become a testimony to the inevitable transformation of women’s social habits.

The installation ‘Glass Blowing’ is an empowering tribute to women’s independence, femininity and strength. It captures the essence of women’s power and creativity, revealing her ability to create her own destiny without relying on others. The hypnotic mosaic is made up of 1969 coloured used nail polish bottles, each representing a unique story and expression of femininity. Taking inspiration from the art of glassblowing, the installation is centered on a woman’s lips blowing through a glass tube, symbolizing the determination and strength with which she becomes capable of creating her life. She sets out to create the desired result herself, just like a glassblower skilfully produces complex glass pieces. Another highlight of the mosaic: the bright red lips, which evoke a sense of self-confidence, reflecting feminine sexuality, charm and self-love.

The mosaic explores the significance of beauty rituals in a woman’s life. Nail polish, like red lips, is an integral element of femininity. It is an important ritual where you choose your color carefully, unscrew the bottle of nail polish that has finished drying, the acidic smell of acetone spreads through the room and you start to paint your nails. Sometimes it goes according to plan and neatly, and sometimes it slips through the edges – just like in life. It’s surprising, when you think about it, how much confidence and elegance coloured nails can bring. With the last stroke of the brush, you want to gesticulate gracefully with your hands, brush your loved one’s hair and show off your new manicure to the world.

The art installation ‘Glass Blowing’ also delves into the strange attachment we feel with these bottles, which often take up space in our drawers long after they dry up. It is difficult to understand whether this is due to the sentiments associated with a particular color or to a culture of hoarding and consumerism that has severely disrupted our brains. The women, who generously contributed to the work by donating used nail polish bottles, have turned this installation into a testimony of collective experience and shared memories. Each bottle holds the excitement of a first date, a hot summer holiday, the joy of an important celebration in life or the days when pink nail polish was the only ray of sunshine to brighten up depressing thoughts.

Before I started mosaics, I painted a painting with the same title – ‘Glass Blowing’ – which became a prototype to help me choose the colors and keep the proportions right. After collecting more than 5000 bottles of nail polish, I divided them into 21 categories according to shades. It was a real challenge to clean that many bottles, while polishing your nails the same number of times seems very easy. The old, sticky liquid is often very clingy and does not come off easily. Add to that the hundreds of shades to choose from and don’t forget the strong smell of acetone: for the first time in my life, I had to buy a gas mask for my art project!

Dimensions: 101 x 145 x 12 cm
Price: 20’000 EUR