I have been a fan of Chicago club icon, Sal-E, for quite a long time. Since 2004, I’ve favorited his photos on Flickr, and used them as a template for many, many costume makeup looks. He single-handedly inspired me to buy an airbrush, and every cut crease I do is really a tribute to him.
But while my rave-look days are largely behind me, time never seems to touch Sal-E. While he maybe can’t be considered a club “kid” anymore, his performance art is still going strong, and he is still serving as an inspiration to makeup mavens and drag artists all over the world. Today is a love letter to his tireless consummate artistry.
“I … play with androgynous fashion and paint as a means to express myself to the world. I often call myself a clown and to this day do not consider myself a drag queen.”
Along with bestie, dollmaker Jojo Baby, Sal-E was the subject of the book by photographer Bernard Colbert entitled “Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e.” Jojo Baby also shows up in a lot of Sal-E’s photos. There’s nothing like a bestie who shares your obsession!
All images property of the forever fabulous Sal-E.