Published to coincide with an exhibition at Maddox Gallery Westbourne Grove, Coco Dávez’s first book is packed with famous figures – all bright and boldly painted, all without a face.
Dávez (the alter ego of Valeria Palmeiro) having worked with Chanel, Kenzo, Prada and Armani. In Faceless, she gathers together the cultural and historical icons who’ve inspired her – artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers and fashion legends – rendering them in Andy Warhol-esque pop-art portraits. Each image is accompanied by Dávez’s explanation of what the figure means to her, touching on when she first encountered them, the reasons for which she’s drawn to them.
Among them are Iris Apfel (‘the queen of freedom and fun’); Grace Coddington (‘a storyteller in pictures’); Peggy Guggenheim (‘one of my favourite characters’); David Hockney (‘I adore him’); Joan Miró (‘Miró’s paintings are constellations, different universes among which I wouldn’t mind living for the rest of my days’); and Patti Smith (‘the most important character in this book’). It’s a sweet and personal book – but, at the same time, the blank canvases of their faces invite the viewer to bring up their own associations and memories, reminding us of how the appeal of these faceless figures is also timeless.