Desi Van Voorhis (b. 1991) is a photographer and makeup artist born in Chicago, Illinois. A Chicago native, her imagery often takes on social and political undertones, aimed at putting a spotlight on the inadequacies that are faced all too often. A self taught photographer and certified makeup artist in media, she has studied under Christopher Schneberger, Jaclyn R. Wright, and Amanda Shackleton; all of whom have ignited her long time passion of pursuing photography and makeup artistry as full time careers.
Desi works with private clients and in television, film, and media. She has had the pleasure of working with celebrities such as Erik Stolhanske, Emo Philips, Kim DeJesus, Ryan Dempster, Zoe Bell, Joel Murray, Rap artist BewhY, and more.
She currently divides her time between Chicago, Illinois & New York City.
My work often focuses on mood; expressing a sense of longing, sorrow, loneliness, angst, and the struggle of natural everyday life. I like to invite and challenge a thought process when viewing my work, to invoke a sort of parallel lives or sense of solidarity.
The driving force behind my art is a need to highlight what is often viewed in society as unwanted, forgotten, or flawed. Such examples are my ongoing projects, "De Anonieme" (or, The Anonymous) and, "Hurt". In the former, I showcase the beautiful textures of marked, aged, scarred, or deemed "undesirable" skin through nudity with both natural and deliberate posing. In "Hurt", I am chronicling my own path through illness and recovery. It is my intention to give a real life account of the hardships and suffering faced with chronic afflictions as well as the progress and tribulations of undiagnosed illnesses through real time, non-posed imagery.
My art is structured and rooted in Feminism, Womyn/Womanism, and body positivity. Dealing with subjects such as depression, anxiety, fat phobia, colorism, sexuality, misogyny, ableism, poverty, and abuse. I am looking to create understanding, to bridge the gap and for the viewer to leave having seen and perceived the significance of the other side, for issues which you are not already accustomed.
I felt the need to delve into these topics, from my own experiences, listening to the grievances and plights of my fellow peers, and the events of media, racialism, politics, capitalism, patriarchy, and pop culture both current and historical. My work is predominantly presented in black and white format, as I find it helps to focus on the subject and enhance the mood of the piece.
The overall goal of my body of work is to aid in the awareness and de-construction of the on-going antagonism that women/womyn, people of color, LGBTQIAP+, and disabled individuals still face today.
Live Out Loud Charity Fashion Show - 2017 (Makeup Artist)
"Married to the Pen" TV Pilot - 2017 (Makeup Artist)
"Bro, You Look Tired" Male Makeup Event - 2017 (Makeup Artist)
"Vendors" TV Show - 2017 (Lead Makeup Artist & Hairstylist)
Athena Bitcoin Promotional Video & Photoshoot - 2017 (Makeup Artist)
Athena Bitcoin Promotional "Bitcoin Girl" Photoshoot - 2017 (Makeup Artist & Hairstylist)
BewhY "The Blind Star" First US Tour (House of Blues Chicago) - 2017 (Makeup Artist & Hairstylist)
Saje Beauty App - 2018 (Makeup Artist & Consultant)
Galeria De MODA Winter Fashion Show - 2018 (Makeup Artist)
"The Seduction of Primal Energy" ELOQUE Magazine - 2018 (Makeup Artist)
"Everyday Attitude" Elegant Magazine - March 2018 (Makeup Artist)
"Retro Urban Futurist" Scorpio Jin Magazine - May 2018 (Makeup Artist & Hairstylist)
The Makeup Show Chicago - 2018 & 2019 (Ambassador)
“The Maurice Show” TV Pilot - 2019 (Makeup Artist)
Chicago Fashion Week - 2019 (Makeup Artist)
The Black Women’s Expo - 2019 (Makeup Artist & Brand Ambassador for Vera Moore Cosmetics)