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Life in plastic: the art of Pandemonia

Feb. 19, 2018
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Pandemonia is a fashion icon and anonymous conceptual artist based out of London: she can be seen attending London Fashion Week, collaborating with Camper shoes, and even doing a cameo in the Absolutely Fabulous movie. When I first discovered Pandemonia on the internet, I wasn’t sure if she was a human or a mannequin, but in reality she is both. She has built herself as a pop icon—literally: she wears full-on body vinyl and a blow-up wig, with not an inch of skin showing.

I finally got to meet this work of art in person at this year's L.A. Art Show, which was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We had arranged to do a quick photoshoot inside her art installation Flash Bulb, which displayed moveable, oversized set pieces among which you could get your polaroid taken. She even included her inflatable pet pooch, “Snowy”, whom I was so excited to touch for the first time.

The act of her moving the pieces became the performance art in itself. I’ll never forget the moment of meeting her and shaking her vinyl hand gloves. We moved over to the set, which immediately grew a crowd of people watching us. A woman in the crowd shouted, “Can you breathe in that?” Pandemonia slowly shook her head no, and I noticed  for the first time that there were no nostril holes cut out on her outfit. Every pose was highly calculated to resemble mannequin-like poses, while also working within the limitations of her suit.

We moved some set pieces around; then, quickly, she had to go. I wasn’t sure if it was because the performance show was so fast, or maybe because she couldn’t actually breathe and had to go take a break. Either way, the moment of being in the presence of this tall human doll was like no other I have ever experienced, and everything about her seemed so perfect. I highly recommend following her Instagram for a curated collection of all things shiny and plastic.