The exceptional genderqueer art of Mathu Andersen
October 31, 2016 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Celebrity make-up artist, photographer, and Instagram luminary Mathu Andersen has spent most of his career on the margins of popular aesthetics and gender expression. He is most widely known as RuPaul's makeup artist, and was nominated in 2015 for an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special for an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. But the self-proclaimed 'wig whisperer' has a broad range of styles and techniques that you can find in his self-portraits. You probably don't have enough time to master his skeleton face design for Halloween, but you can give his Cat Lady Transformation of James St. James a try.

If you're looking for proof of his status as "Instagram luminary," you can read the official PR blurb about his gallery show of his portraits and read more and see some example images from the LAist, but he's deleted or closed an account or two on Instagram, leaving gaps in a number of sites that linked to and embedded those images. But you can find a number of his self portraits copied elsewhere or in a general Google image search.

And you can still enjoy his video appearances, made up in the studio with Alyssa Edwards, RuPaul Drives... Mathu Andersen, and his first Transformation of James St. James.

A few years ago, a Redditor asked Why doesn't Mathu have a wiki, and other folks shared some resources to support the creation of such a page.
posted by filthy light thief (10 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, what a talent! Great post, definitely best of the web. Thanks!
posted by Fig at 7:51 AM on October 31, 2016

Wow, quite amazing. He's like Matthew Barney from The Upside Down.
posted by gwint at 7:52 AM on October 31, 2016

Okay, going to dive into these links right now, but I love, love, love Mathu Anderson. He just seems so quintessentially himself, and his skills are amazing. He's the reason RuPaul looks so perfect all the time (for proof that this is true, check out RuPaul's visit to Project Runway a couple of years ago where he looked...bad).
posted by xingcat at 7:52 AM on October 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have it on good authority it takes Mathu five hours to get Ru into camera-ready drag (but a lot of that time is them just them horsing around and making themselves laugh).
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:07 AM on October 31, 2016 [5 favorites]

Wow, thanks so much for this post. Never would have heard about this person and their amazing work otherwise.
posted by latkes at 8:20 AM on October 31, 2016

posted by Annika Cicada at 9:05 AM on October 31, 2016

Well, I WAS feeling good about my extra eyeshadow for Halloween...
posted by redsparkler at 12:54 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Have you been doing a-maz-ing makeup for decades? Or at least churning out new and exciting looks every few days? If not, don't fret it and have fun!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

LOVE Mathu. I needed this inspiration for the hours of makeup I am about to do on myself.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Great post! You can also see him being interviewed on Jonny McGovern's show "Hey Qween" Bonus: you can see a pic of high school Mathu!
posted by Z if for Zillah at 2:25 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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