François Nars made a name for himself in the 90s for his ability to transform a face into a work of art (yes that would be NARS as in the little black tubes rolling around the bottom of many a woman’s purse). But Nars didn’t limit himself to selling eye liners and compacts; with photographer Steven Meisel and hair stylist Oribe Canales, he created editorial spreads that appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Vogue Italia and Elle, and which have been credited with contributing to the birth of the supermodel.
The make-up mogul has always been passionate about photography. According to the NARS website, he shoots all of the company’s ad campaigns and has published four books of photography to date, including the most recent Faery Lands, Tahiti (Rizzoli New York, 2013).
A must-have for travel, style and culture mavens, Faery Lands, Tahiti is an exquisite collection of intimate sepia portraits, tinted palms and dreamy seascapes, all taken over the past twelve years on Nars’ private island, Motu Tané, off the coast of Bora Bora. The project is a joint labor of love by Nars and legendary art director Giovanni Bianco and is the first published collection of Nars’ personal photographs.
The same principles that govern Nars’ work as a make-up artist are at work here. As he puts it, “What interests me is character. I’ve always been attracted to faces with personality, strength and a unique quality. That is beauty.” His photos reveal a deep love and respect for French Polynesia and the Tahitian people, who serve as both model and muse in this enchanting collection that highlights the natural and human beauty of the region.
Shot with a large-format film camera, the images are all expertly composed, their nuances reflective of a career spent getting intimately acquainted with every curve and angle of the human face.
We may not all be able to afford our own private island in the South Pacific, or even a plane ticket to visit, but Nars’ enchanting, in-depth collection is the next best thing.
Faery Lands, Tahiti
By François Nars
Hardcover w/ slipcase / 11 ¾” X 14 ¾” / 288 pages / 250 color and b/w illustrations
US $100.00 / Can $100.00 / UK £62.50
Rizzoli New York
Publication date: October 2013