Marita Politou is a makeup artist of the new generation who stands out for her creative spirit and her unique attitude. We met with her backstage during the photo-shoot of this issue’s leader and we discussed her work as well as her plans for the future.
When and how did you start working?
If I’m not mistaken, it was about five years ago. I was still at school when I started to approach photographers, asking them to try me using the test shots procedure.
Do you remember your first experience as a make-up artist?
I can’t say that I have a clear image in my head. The reason is that my tutor, Freddy Kalobratsos, included me to his team while I was still a student. During the morning I was in class and the same night I was backstage at some show. I want to thank Freddy Kalobratsos; I really owe him.
You decided to dedicate yourself to fashion, even though it’s a less profitable field in Greece.
This is such an unpleasant story. Are you sure you want to get into it? I have no regrets because I witnessed a part of me I couldn’t believe it existed. So, I can’t raise the money issue now, as I see it as a personal project.
You are very active on social media. Do you think they can help you to get your work known?
Of course. The social media impact has been decisive in Greece and also helped me built relationships with artists abroad. It’s very important to remember that in countries where the fashion industry works properly, in any professional meeting with an agency whether you’ re a model or an artist, it’s certain that you’ll be asked about your presence in social media. A typical question would be “how many followers do you have on instagram?” and so on.
Are you attracted in any particular type of beauty? Do you have a specific role model?
I believe that beauty is our life and experiences. Everything we experience since the day we are born is reflected to our bodies, face and expression. You know very well that in this job we meet such beautiful girls and boys that many people will never have the chance to see. And yet, the next day we might as well forget their faces. A few “right” features don’t make you beautiful.
Who’s your favourite model?
Ginevere Van Seenus.
What’s your ideal beauty decade and why?
I would say the ‘40s. It’s this powerful energy combined with the taboos of the era I find fascinating. It’s not easy for a woman to put her make-up on and be spotless without this being considered as provocative, don’t you think? That decade presented a clean face and a specific statement; the red lipstick. Women use this tip even today, due mainly to busy schedules; it’s practical and easy.
It seems that these days, fashion has set a beauty standard that’s completely natural and simple. Is this a result of the economic and social situation worldwide?
Here’s what I think; this question is rather inconsistent with what I observe. So, there are international fashion houses such as BALENCIAGA, VALENTINO, CELINE, ZAC POSEN, ALEXANDER WANG, who manage to stay loyal to RAW beauty. We, as part of this industry, try to move around this standard as well. On the other hand after personal observation, I noticed through the social media a tendency to excess. Plastic surgery used to be a taboo whereas now it’s mainstream so that someone who hasn’t been under the knife is probably a weirdo. The latter might has something to do with the global economic and social situation. People tend to use an artificial way and the over-the-top glamour to stand out.
The idea of the “natural beauty” seems to be dominant even in photography. Peter Lindberg rarely uses photoshop. Do you agree with this approach?
Totally, despite the fact that I’m a make-up artist and this is hardly pro my interests! Peter Lindberg avoids the whole beauty process and I totally agree with him. As I said before, beauty is our life experiences, our thoughts, the expressions and this is the way Peter Lindberg approaches women. We could see that while watching his backstage video for the Pirelli Calendar project. Why would he use photoshop and erase every little face line or mark that’s unique and has a story to tell?
Your “Let’s Play” project is quite experimental. What’s the inspiration behind your work?
I like painting and I enjoy telling stories with the photographer I work with. In this project I worked with a young and promising beauty photographer, Angelos Potamianos, and the 18-year-old Elena Belikhina of D’ Models. We said to ourselves “let’s play”! And we played, literally. I created a “beauty game” image on Elena and this is the result. I have no idea how it might look to you but we had fun. This is how I perceive aesthetics. Putting make-up on a girl just to make her pretty isn’t what I aim for. She’s a model so she’s already pretty.
You travel a lot to London lately. Do you think you could move there?
I often visit London as I work on some projects there. Also, I happen to think that London is pure inspiration. Every time I watch people passing by, I tend to think “London is cool”. So yes, I’d like to live every day in a cool way.
Words by Lazaros Tzovaras