Attendees of the exhibit launch gather to take in the beauty of one of LyleXOX’s self-portraits at Liquidity Wines in OK Falls on Sept. 7. The exhibit is the Canadian makeup and mixed media artist’s first solo show and he is grateful for all the support he has been given. (Photo by Liquidity Wines)

LyleXOX launches first solo exhibition at Liquidity Wines in OK Falls

The Canadian artist has amassed thousands of fans for his beautiful self-portraits using found items

Up-and-coming Canadian makeup and mixed media artist LyleXOX has launched his first solo exhibition at Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls.

Lyle Reimer, also known as LyleXOX in the art industry and by his nearly 150,000 Instagram followers, has made a name for himself with his beautiful and eclectic self-portraits, using his face as the medium to build stunning collages out of found and recycled items. He even crafts a persona and back-story to accompany each look, combining fashion, makeup and storytelling to dazzle his fans.

“I ended up meeting Lyle at a wine tasting in Vancouver a couple years back, it was in conjunction with MAC Cosmetics and the movie industry,” said Ian MacDonald, founder of Liquidity. “At the time, Lyle was a MAC Pro, and they do really sophisticated makeup work for big fashion shows and movie shoots and things like that for MAC Cosmetics. So we were chatting about stuff and I told him he seemed really talented, and he told me about a project he was doing on the side on his Instagram account.”

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That was the first time MacDonald saw just what Reimer was capable of, and made a note that he’d love to do a collaboration with him at his winery in the future when Reimer was available. At this point in time, Reimer was working with Rizzoli to publish his first book, LyleXOX Head of Design, with the help of legendary artistic director Fabien Baron.

MacDonald said he helped Reimer with some of the contract stuff for his book, which since its release, has won an international photography award. Reimer said he will be attending the awards ceremony in October at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Reimer described the process of creating the book as a “total labour of love” and said it was a dream to collaborate with Baron. He added that Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf wrote the foreword for the book after emailing him as fans of his work. He went on to meet them in Amersterdam and a friendship blossomed, with Reimer being invited to their 25th anniversary exhibition and Viktor & Rolf promising to “help (him) out in any way they could.”

“When I first read their foreword, I was so moved at the depth of their words and level of appreciation for my work,” said Reimer.

READ MORE: Win your way in to sold-out Buffy Sainte-Marie Okanagan show

Once the book was finished and ready to be published is when Reimer and MacDonald would connect again about bringing Reimer’s art to life in a new way.

“Before this, (Reimer) had never done a public exhibit of his work and we were talking about it some time ago and we said let’s try it out and just test the waters and see what happens. So we put some of his work together from the book and put it on display,” said MacDonald. “So we worked with a well-known printer of fine art photography and a framer, and we curated the whole show together. And it’s stunning.”

“This exhibition is the next evolution in my work and allows people to view the images on a much larger scale and interact with the pieces in a more intimate way,” said Reimer. “The response has been incredibly positive and supportive and I’m so grateful to be able to share my passion in a whole new way.”

MacDonald said the exhibit launched at the winery on Sept. 7 and within the first 24 hours, most of the pieces sold. Reimer said he is very pleased with how the exhibition is going, and said he was surprised at the incredibly varied audience his work appeals to.

“The conversations that took place on opening night were so refreshing, and the level of engagement with the work felt very rewarding,” said Reimer. “There is a whole body of work that will make its way to gallery walls in the future… this was just the first stop on the destination.”

The exhibit will be on display at Liquidity Wines until Oct. 14, and Reimer’s book, LyleXOX Head of Design, is also available for purchase there.

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