16x20 hot pink glitter party bomb. Acrylic/ Ink/ Resin/ Glitter.
Fantasy Costume is a costume shop in Chicago that is a whole city block long. It is at the cross-sections of Milwaukee, Cicero, and Irving Park. A side of the city that to me was like a weird myth. No matter what time of day there were never cabs.
This was long before Uber. Or amazon. Or those Spirit Halloween stores that go in abandoned buildings seasonally. My friend Fox and I always loved our Halloween costumes. We thought we were so cool because we had all kinds of cool clubs and shows to wear whatever we came up with. Which for me was always pink, sequined, and with glitter.
Alas, every year we would go to the store and wait in the line wrapping around the block in the cold night. Once you get in there's a mask room, an accessory room, the costume room, and my favorite, the wig room.
I love a good wig. Always have. The first one I got there was a hot pink bouffant that was fluffed almost a foot above my head. It was incredible and $170. An outrageous amount of money for a 24-year-old girl to spend on her Halloween hair, yes. But the joy it brought me. The parties it went to. The times it had.
When I look back on those years of my life I sure as hell don’t think “Wow I shouldn’t have bought the most fabulous wig in the shop, it was way too expensive.” In fact, a decade later that wig will go to burning man and be how my friend Jellybean meets his future wife. (He was passing out bubble gum dressed like bubblegum on our camp corner. I’ll include a picture.) The other electric pink wig I got a perfect layered hot pink angel.
I went as the Esurance girl that year. Caved and spent $500 on a latex suit at star costumes in Vegas. We were going to this rave and my ex-boyfriend was supposed to show up with his new partner. So duh I had to look great. And star costumes were always unnecessarily intimidating. It's like actual Vegas performers and stuff they take it all very seriously. I believe I got stuck in that latex suit and just wore it home. You can imagine my shock when I got all ready, opened the door and it was my ex and a man. I mean nobody was terribly surprised but it made me feel better. It was perfect timing and didn’t make it all feel so tense. Different story for a different time. The party in LA was a ball. I still have that wig except now my own hair looks exactly like it.
I dye my hair arctic fox electric paradise once every four weeks and wash my hair with punky colors pinktabulous shampoo. Which smells like bubblegum. It’s 2020, it’s the little things. It took me a whole lot of jobs that didn’t really work out for me to find my real job. The one I’m supposed to be doing. The way that I know is that my hair gets to look like this. And you guys keep buying my art. I cry every time.
When I see pink and glitter though I always think of Fantasy Costumes, listening to Santigold and Basement Jaxx on my cd player in my Volkswagen beetle. Lost in a room of stuff that would show people who I felt like pretending to be. A sanctuary really. Millions of options and grand plans to max my $400 limit credit card as that was the state of my credit. Costumes are a fabulous investment, just like art. They have always given me someone else to be and in turn, a different way to feel. And they have always been the most heartfelt and unexpected way to give to someone else, in the perfect place at the perfect time