The post, which has since been deleted (though the model in the photo, Anna Thorsell, reposted it, with a statement from the artist), was initially shared on Instagram to his 65,000 followers. Despite his best efforts to clarify that his intent was not about “race change,” some of Paintdatface’s followers took offense and called his latest work “blackface.”
“She looked amazing, but I’m sure you could’ve found a model that has that skin tone,” wrote one of his Instagram followers. “You did blackface even if it was represented in a beautiful way. Wrong is wrong.”
#paintdatface if it wasn't about race you wouldn't have needed a four page long disclaimer
— Leila Ellis-Nelson (@DrEllisNelson) May 29, 2017
Paintdatface, whose real name has not been disclosed online, did not offer an apology after deleting his original Instagram post. Instead, on Monday he posted a statement on Instagram: “I deleted the post, not because I had regret or saw wrongdoing, but because of the negativity social media turned it into. It’s been assumed by most that my intentions were to transform my model into a black woman. Truth is, my intentions were to keep the look vague enough to be relatable to many women of different cultures, but the true inspiration of the overall look came from my Cuban heritage.”
He added: “Although I am saddened by how many people are angered, I can’t offer an apology for my artwork and for what I find to be beautiful. The transformation came from a place of love and was not about mocking one’s race, but rather about celebrating it.”
But after scrolling through the makeup artist’s Instagram page, one of his followers pointed out that it seems Paintdatface rarely uses models who are women of color.
#paintdatface nothing on your page indicates an admiration for diversity in fact it severely lacks it.
— Jem (@JemClassic) May 30, 2017
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