If there ever was, there’s certainly no avoiding Kim Kardashian now: The reality star and frequent paparazzi fodder appears on the cover of W’s November Art issue, covered by a few provocative words from Barbara Kruger—and nothing else. Inside, Kardashian is lensed fully nude, wearing only a sparkling layer of silver body paint. (As previously mentioned on this blog, body paint is having a moment: It showed up at both Louis Vuitton and Moncler Gamme Rouge’s Spring ’11 shows in Paris, though the W shoot predates them both by months.) Kardashian’s paint job is the work of Revlon Global Artistic Director, Gucci Westman and while the how of the face painter’s “body of work,” has already circulated the Internet with lightning speed (she used a liquid silver Kryolan paint mixed with a silver metallic pigment from Make Up For Ever combined with extra highlights courtesy of a metallic Revlon Eye Shadow), we wanted to get the why, the how long, and the is that thing real, because, like everyone else, we can’t seem to wrap our head around the, er, breadth of those images.
So, what was the inspiration behind the silver look?
They wanted to do something a bit different, and because they were working with Barbara Kruger and doing the artwork on the cover, it had to be something that was going to be relatable to her work. Quite graphic and poppy and all of those things. They asked me what color I thought would be the most beautiful on her skin. We didn’t want it to be sensual; we wanted it to be chic. I thought that silver would be the best idea in terms of contrast. It’s the most luminous, gives the most photogenic effect of those metallic paints.
Kim is famously curvy. Did it take a long time to cover her?
No, it didn’t take very long at all—maybe half-an-hour. It’s kind of an easy application, with a sponge.
Doesn’t sound too tricky. Is it something that might have a life off of the runway or the editorial page?
It’s not that easy to do it on yourself. It’s more fantastical. For a show, you put on a show by doing things like that. For this issue, we did it because it was the Art issue—and she has a beautiful body.
And how. Speaking of that body, it has gotten a lot of close scrutiny from the internet commentariat. In particular, everyone is debating whether Kim’s had posterior enhancement surgery. As someone with, ahem, first-hand experience, care to comment?
I don’t know anything about that, I [just] think she’s beautiful. I think Kim Kardashian looks so much like Scarlett Johansson—I never noticed it [before]. There’s some angles where she looks so much like her it’s crazy.