For local artist, Anahy Nuñez—the human body is her canvas.
Using makeup, wigs, eye contacts and various props, she transforms herself into a variety of pop culture characters. Her video tutorials have amassed a swift following on social media, with her Instagram account garnering over 30,000 followers—a number that continues to grow. But aside from her own transformations, Anahy (pronounced ‘On-uh-E’) performs full body paintings on local models and community members, and crafts an array of art pieces. Her work currently hangs on display in her downtown Las Cruces studio, Atom Bomb, which she owns with her partner and tattoo artist, Aaron.
On October 20, NMCO Media will exhibit Anahy’s work as part of Avenue L, a partnership of local businesses who showcase and further the reach of artists in Las Cruces and southern New Mexico. Her upcoming show Desert Flower will exhibit her latest work that encompasses eclectic desert florals, and she’ll be performing a live body painting for attendees.
NMCO recently spoke with Anahy to meet the woman beneath the various facades. Meet the artist, Anahy Nuñez!
Where are you originally from?
Las Cruces, New Mexico. I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life.
What first interested you in art?
I guess my Mom always had me drawing since I was little. It was the only way I’d stay still.
What made you choose body/face painting?
Painting on a live canvas is the best because you get to see your art move, or you can design a piece that will interact with the shape and movement of the body or face. It’s really kind of magical.
What inspires your work?
Everything kind of inspires my work. My surroundings, my family, my dreams, my heritage, etc.
What does your creative process look like?
My creative process is all over the place. It involves some sketching and half-planning, and then completely ignoring everything I planned.
How long does it typically take for you to complete your work?
A typical body painting can take me anywhere from 1 hour to 10 hours depending on the design details and the coverage of the body. A canvas piece can take me anywhere from 1 hour to 2 years depending on if I take a break from painting one piece, to work on another. I tend to have 2 or 3 pieces going at the same time so I don’t get tired of working on the same one.
What are some of your favorite characters to morph into?
Any creepy character or comic book characters. Honestly, any character is fun to morph into. Being a different person every day for a few hours is a lot of fun.
What are you most looking forward to at your upcoming show, Desert Flower?
I’m looking forward to introducing the new work I’ve been creating. It’s sort of a new style I’m trying.
What can local New Mexicans learn from supporting artists in and around their community?
Supporting your local art community helps it flourish. The more we work together to keep it going, more opportunities are created for artists to share their work.
Where can locals find your work if they’re interested?
They can visit my studio, Atom Bomb, at 228 N. Campo St. I have a lot of my work there including prints and stickers, which are available for purchase.
Anything else you want to add about your work and local artistry?
Just a ‘thank you’ to those who have supported my work since I’ve started. It truly is appreciated and it helps motivate me to keep creating.
Anahy’s AveL showcase will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 20 at NMCO’s creative studio located at 2001 E Lohman Ave., Suite 114. To view more of Anahy’s work and video tutorials, follow her on Facebook and Instagram @glassjawbabe.