Beauty and Terror, 2018

A series of paintings made with perfumes, vitamins, hair removal creams and various other commercial beauty items.

Wagenknecht applies these composite to the canvas using household cleaning mechanisms such as Roomba vacuums, paper towels, and toilet bowl brushes. 

Beauty and Terror is the artist’s exploration into how the presentation of the female body intersects with the entangled histories of military technology and domestic labor.

Many everyday beauty companies are implicated in the military industrial complex; the U.S. Department of Defense contracted the popular makeup companies like MaxFactor to develop cake foundation and concealer as camouflage technology, to be used by the U.S. military in Vietnam. In addition, during World War II, the U.S. government directed all nylon stocking companies raw materials to manufacture parachutes, rope and netting.