Makeup Artist Madrona Redhawk on Rollercoasters And Insta Reels
You may not recognize Madrona Redhawk, the performance and makeup artist currently dominating Instagram Reels, without her face covered in paint. Her inventive, process-focused application techniques, drawn from her Native American roots and interest in performance art, are unconventional to say the least: in a series of irresistible bite-sized videos, she coats her lips in red paint with the toe of a leather cowboy boot, stamps words on her cheeks with tabasco bottles, and transforms her face into a technicolor kaleidoscope by positioning it under a ceiling fan. Indeed, Redhawk’s popularity seems to stem from her ability to apply makeup with pretty much anything—from a CD player to a can of soda— and she doesn’t appear to be running out of ideas any time soon. Now that the Las Vegas native has mastered the digital sphere, she’s testing her skills in a new medium as part of a collaboration with Polaroid. A self-described “camera geek,” Redhawk has already begun her love affair with PolaroidGo, the smallest analog instant camera on the market. Below, the artist answers a few questions direct from Andy Warhol, the original master of the Polaroid. — JULIA OLNEY
INTERVIEW: What did you have for breakfast?
REDHAWK: Coffee, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, and tofu scramble.
INTERVIEW: How were you discovered?
REDHAWK: My agent found my Instagram and I was signed before I started making performance art in addition to doing makeup.
INTERVIEW: Do you dream?
REDHAWK: A lot! I have a recurring dream where I’m in an amusement park, which is awesome because roller coasters are the best. I also have dreams of lakes often.
INTERVIEW: Is there anything you regret not doing?
REDHAWK: There are many instances where I regret not being bolder. I am shy to a fault.
INTERVIEW: When do you get nervous?
REDHAWK: Climate change makes me extremely nervous, especially with the heat waves gripping the southwest right now. Going outside is a reminder of all the people and animals that are suffering. Interacting with people I don’t already know makes me nervous, as does social media sometimes.
INTERVIEW: Where do you dance?
REDHAWK: I love dancing but I’m NOT good at it so I usually just dance at home.
INTERVIEW: Who’s your dream date?
REDHAWK: Phil Ochs.
INTERVIEW: What’s the craziest thing a fan has sent you?
REDHAWK: I’ve received art supplies from a fan before, but nothing crazy!
INTERVIEW: What are your beauty secrets?
REDHAWK: I have a minimal beauty regimen. I don’t wash my face unless I put makeup on and use olive or avocado oil for moisturizer.
INTERVIEW: What’s your favorite movie?
REDHAWK: My parents and I love silent films, our favorites are from Buster Keaton and Conrad Veidt. The Man Who Laughs is one of my favorite movies. Sin City, Casablanca, Barry Lyndon, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are favorites as well.
INTERVIEW: What do you think about love?
REDHAWK: I’m a hopeless romantic! But that might be because…
INTERVIEW: Have you ever been in love?
REDHAWK: … I definitely have never been in love.
INTERVIEW: Would you ever marry one of your fans?
INTERVIEW: Are you interested in furniture?
REDHAWK: I’m a terrible decorator but I am interested in furniture. I love building models of buildings, construction cranes, etc. I’ve built chairs and beds for my stop motion shorts.
INTERVIEW: Do you have a TV?
REDHAWK: I watch so much TV. Mostly The Simpsons (I’ve had a life long obsession with the show) but Futurama, King of the Hill, Seinfeld, Malcolm in the Middle, Magnum P.I...TV is inspiring to me.
INTERVIEW: Do you keep a diary?
REDHAWK: I’ll occasionally use a cassette recorder to make what we jokingly call a “field report” or a general description of what is going on in my day.
INTERVIEW: Do you get eight hours a night?
REDHAWK: I usually get 9-10 hours of sleep and wake up early.
INTERVIEW: What are you most proud of?
REDHAWK: I love my art and sometimes I can’t believe I drew something or did a certain makeup look. I always think of how proud 15 year-old-me would be.
INTERVIEW: Why can’t it just be magic all the time?
REDHAWK: Reality hurts!
INTERVIEW: Do you think that people should live in outer space?
REDHAWK: Probably not. The radiation is dangerous and I remember reading somewhere that eyes start to lose shape in space which is terrifying.
INTERVIEW: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
REDHAWK: I play a lot of video games. The 3D generation of GTA, The Sims 3, and arcade games from the 80s like Bomb Jack, Mappy, Rolling Thunder, N.A.R.C, and Smash TV. I play tennis and ride bikes with my family and take care of my 17-year-old dog and two cats.
INTERVIEW: How much time do you spend on the phone every day?
REDHAWK: Too much! Usually, my screen time is 4-5 hours but I’ve been making an effort to stay off my phone more.
INTERVIEW: What’s your favorite scent?
REDHAWK: Onion and garlic sautéeing in olive oil.
INTERVIEW: Do you believe in the American Dream?
REDHAWK: Success and opportunities are not equally afforded in this country and it was built upon and still operates under a classist, misogynistic, and racist system. Especially since hard work doesn’t guarantee success I wouldn’t say I believe in the American Dream.
INTERVIEW: What is next for you?
REDHAWK: I’m going to keep working hard and try to finish a papier-mâché project I’ve been making for a long time.