Rather than a display of lipstick, palettes, or polish, the first thing shoppers see when they visit Sephora’s new Meatpacking District location (West 13th St. and 9th Ave.) is artist E.V. Day’s swirling eight-foot installation, Flamenco Tornado.
“Flamenco is such a cool, empowering kind of female art form. So passionate and strong,” says Day. “So I took a flamenco dress and turned it upside down to look like a tornado.” The skirt that makes up most of the sculpture was donated by a flamenco-dancing friend of Day’s and is suspended from two giant rings by yards and yards of filament, creating the effect of fabric in motion. The piece unmistakably Day—like her Exploding Couture series (which looks exactly the way it sounds) or Bride Fight (in which two bridal dresses are poised for battle). “I see it as a sort of energy transformation. That sort of stopping before it turns into something else,” Day says.
And while Sephora might not seem like an obvious venue for an artist who has work in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney, Day is quick to point out that the only concession she made during the process was taking the sculpture down to 8 feet from her originally planned 10. “Honestly, I was quite concerned with the idea of product being in the background,” she says. “But once we installed it and the lights were on, I felt like it owned the room.”