An article penned by Ann Binlot appeared on Artinfo this morning, announcing the arrival of nail art. From the streets of Japan to suburban America, she declares, decorated fingertips have finally made the big-time. Nail art is exactly what it sounds like: using the nail as canvas, artists paint, embellish, and layer mini-artworks onto the tiny surface, making for ornamental accessories. While I’m pretty sure I was executing this idea at age seven, nail and fashion experts insist otherwise. One such aficionado, independent curator and nail-party-thrower Rita de Alencar Pinto, says accessibility has launched the trend:
Girls may not be able to afford a new outfit, or a new pair or shoes or a hairdo or whatever—things are expensive and cash is short. But with nails, you can accessorize nails and be wearing sweatpants and you look dressed up.
Last year, the article says, the phenomenon got its own exhibition at a gallery in London (this also happened at the New Museum and Art Basel Miami Beach). Apparently Valley Nails, Sakura, and Tomahawk Salon have already tapped into the specialty in New York, welcoming fashionistas abound. My only question is: how much would the Met pay for a two-inch-long piece of plastic?