TALES OF LIPSTICK AND VIRTUE by Anna Ehrenstein
‘Tales of Lipstick and Virtue’ deals with the crossroads of gender, class, ethnicity and their interconnection to self representation as well as post-colonialism, authenticity and pseudo luxury.
The work consists of portraits in Albania and figurative fake-stills of brand imitations and counterfeit luxury out of the studio. Using methods of documentary, fashion and advertising photography, it is blurring the thin line between original and bootleg, truth and fiction, genuine and counterfeit.
The question if, especially in the post-communistic context of Albania, visual and sexual self-determination as well as femininity are empowering young women globally, is playing a key role. Intersections of class and aesthetics and their (non-) euro- centric backgrounds are examined with a playful use of saccharine colour, stylization and humour.
Anna Ehrenstein (*1993) is an artist based in Germany with Albanian heritage. She studied photography at the University of Applied Science in Dortmund and is living and working in Berlin. Her practice focuses on lens-based arts, especially photography, but she also works in Video or Installation and Performance. What interests her most are visualizations of contemporary issues, to which a broad audience can relate. In radicalizing and exaggerating different aesthetics, while taking inspiration from mass media and everyday life she tries to show different angles in a current process of reflection. Her main focus lies on topics like class, gender representation, sexuality and the impact of authorities, for example regarding police brutality.
She has been awarded and exhibited internationally, for example at the Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne (2017) and the Finalist Exhibition at the Festival Encontros da Imagem in Braga (2016).