After months of working hard on her craft, which is crafting, Miley Cyrus was finally ready to display a piece from her oeuvre in public. On Sunday, she left Nobu wearing a scrunchie that appears to be of her own fashioning (it is a textbook example of the Cyrus aesthetic). This represents the public emergence of her crafting practice from the safe cocoon of Instagram.
What do we know about her aesthetic journey? What have these five months (since the debut of her first beaded bracelet) taught her? How has she evolved as a master craftswoman of gluing stuff on more stuff?
Bravely — and blessedly for all who study in her steps — Cyrus did not guard her process. Rather, she documented her growth, turning the documentation itself into an artistic statement.
From the moment she began, her aesthetic has always been that of a horror-vacui MDMA flashback. Her work conveys a panic to emit the greatest cheer per measurable bit of surface area. It’s an excess of glee that is so overwhelming, it seems threatening.
Cyrus’s artistic journey began from a place of mourning. While she flashed her first beaded wrist-party on March 17 (bracelets spelling out DRUGS and MARY JANE), she truly threw herself into her crafts vocation after the canine love of her life (Floyd) passed away in early April. By April 17, there was a frantically busy phone case (not a confirmed Cyrus, but convincingly in her style) and an entire wrist-rave of bangles.
And soon, Miley was devoted. While she toyed around during the first few weeks of her journey (line drawing on a cell phone, maniacal Photoshop), she discovered quickly that pinning shit to other shit was her true medium.
Unafraid of textual elements, she frequently uses letter beads as signifiers. Her favorite words are: TWERK, PUSSY, and DRUGS. It’s like a spelling bee for turnt-up tween-spirited twentysomethings.
Though she prefers the stasis of the singular word, she does occasionally turn a phrase, especially when captioning her art. For example: “#babyhairz be jelly.”
She relies on cartoonish figurines coated in glitter, which bring to mind the cast of Mario Kart attending a drag show.
Other issues she grapples with in her practice: babies; hearts; sparkles; panic; anxiety; sexuality; Katy Perry.
Hats and masks in particular are Miley’s great crafting strength (as well as phone cases, but those are just masks for the technology that’s most clearly an extension of our brains, yes?). Her work is about accessorizing the outward image; the covering of our most cerebral body part; veiling the very part of our body that creates while exposing its creation; literally shielding and metaphorically revealing the windows to the soul.
Yes, brain function is of utmost concern to Cyrus in her crafts. As she has written, “ONLY U CAN DESTROY YOUR BRAIN.” That’s likely true.
And now, Miley Cyrus, crafts whippersnapper, has begun to unleash her art upon the viewing public, and willing or not, the viewing public must ready itself for a parade of the most insane scrunchies it could ever imagine.