Culture & Arts

21 Last Minute Costumes For The High Brow Halloween Crowd

We don't know how it happened, but here we are again, just days away from Halloween. If you have yet to find that perfect costume -- you know, the one that makes you seem clever, carefree, and creative all at once -- we're here to help.

We've combed the arts and culture corners of the web to find the best potential Halloween looks for the highest of high brow disciples out there. Let us know if you have any costume contributions of your own in the comments.

1. Yayoi Kusama's "Happenings"


Why: Kusama is the queen and that is all.
What you need: A bodysuit covered in polka dots to express how we can obliterate ourselves and join the infinity of the universe. You can probably get one at American Apparel.

2. Paul McCarthy's Butt Plug Sculpture

paul mccarthy tree

Why: McCarthy's inflatable sculpture with a suspicious resemblance to an anal sex toy was recently endorsed by France’s chief of state, so it's good enough for you!
What you need: An all black ensemble and a classy green butt plug to stick on your head.

3. Miranda July

miranda july

Why: We basically wish we were July 365 days a year. This one night will have to suffice for now.
What you need: The Miranda haircut. The Miranda handbag. The Somebody app, which you will be using all night to really freak people out.

4. Shia LaBeouf's 'Performance Art' Meltdown

shia labeouf paper bag

Why: This celebrity tribute is certainly cheap and moderately relevant.
What you need: A brown paper bag reading "I am not famous anymore." A suit. A mediocre understanding of basic art school jargon.

5. Naked Jeff Koons

jeff koons

Why: If you have a hankering to dress as something sexy this Halloween, NSFW Jeff (preferably pumping iron) definitely gets our vote.
What you need: A nude body suit. Fake muscles. Perhaps a strategically placed balloon dog.

6. Francisco de Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son"


Why: You think ghosts make for a scary costume? This will have children screaming in terror.
What you need: A decapitated naked doll, a gnarly beard and crazy eyes.

7. Hedwig (and her Angry Inch)

hedwig and the angry inch

Why: This Tony award winning ensemble gives you permission to climb, kick and sing on everything.
What you need: A blonde wig, Daisy Dukes, fishnets and lots and lots of glitter. (Seriously, pile it on.)

8. Mike Kelley's "Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites"

mike kelley

Why: Pay homage to the Stedelijk Museum's Mike Kelley retrospective -- that showed at MoMA PS1 and MOCA earlier this year -- while conveniently donning an orgy of stuffed animals.
What you need: Bundles of color coded stuffed animals and the energy to explain repeatedly that you're an artwork, not a zoo.

9. Grant Wood's "American Gothic"


Why: Couples costume! This American classic is easy to pull of and instantly recognizable.
What you need: A date, overalls, a pitchfork, and a serious visage.
Bonus idea: Gothic American Gothic, because why not bust out the black lipstick?

10. FKA Twigs

fka twigs

Why: The alien songstress is so hot right now -- and incorporating her style inspiration into your permanent wardrobe certainly couldn't hurt.
What you need: Septum ring, weave, Google glass, bare midriff and your best interpretation of her technologically savvy goddess attire. (Robert Pattinson optional)

11. Banksy

street artist

Why: You're really lazy. Like, seriously lazy.
What you need: A hoodie, a spray can and some voice changer software, if you're feeling extravagant.
Bonus idea: Turn Banksy into Hanksy with a creepy Tom Hanks mask.

12. Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth Of Venus"


Why: Lady Gaga channeled this iconic classic in her "Applause" video and it's an artsy excuse to show some skin.
What you need: Long hair, a shell, a nude body suit (or not).

13. Abbi and Ilana from Broad City

abbi jacobson ilana glazer

Why: Don't try to tell us they aren't art. THEY ARE ART, people.
What you need: For Abbi: A Solstice "Cleaner" tee and a Bed, Bath and Beyond bag. For Ilana: Napkin as a shirt and a fat blunt (where it is, we won't ask.)

14. Stevie Nicks


Why: Because Ms. Nicks is the only woman on earth who can pull off an exhibition of selfies and make us worship her all the more.
What you need: Gypsy garb. A blonde wig. A shawl. A polaroid camera.

15. Tracey Emin's "My Bed"

tracey emin my bed

Why: The work sold for £2.2 million this July. And it's basically the artsy equivalent of covering yourself in garbage.
What you need: Bedsheets (potentially stained with bodily fluids and menstrual blood.) Condoms. Cigarette packets. Towel, stockings, vodka, slippers -- whatever you have lying around. A £2.2 million price tag.

16. Bettie Page


Why: The pin-up heroine will always be one of the baddest broads in the game.
What you need: Lingerie. A whip. Your best go at curved bangs (be careful!)

17. Matisse's Cut-outs

matisse cutout

Why: Everyone and her mother (especially her mother, actually) is kvelling over the Matisse cut-out show at MoMA.
What you need: Construction paper, scissors and your valiant attempt at drawing with color.

18. Bjork


Why: Between her teaching curriculum and her upcoming MoMA retrospective, this is the year of Bjork.
What you need: Giant rainbow afro wig. Blue eyeshadow. Nordic symbol arm tattoo. The power of the cosmos in your girlish giggle.

19. Lady Jaye & Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE


Why: Because a more badass BFF or couples costume does not exist.
What you need: Matching breast implants. A conjoined identity. The ability to turn life into performance.

20. Hatsune Miku

hatsune miku

Why: She's the world's first virtual pop star. And she may be taking over the world.
What you need: A blue wig. Sexy schoolgirl outfit. The potential to appear and disappear in a flash.

21. Nam June Paik


Why: You love the internet. But mostly, you really want to be the cleverest (and heaviest) person at the party.
What you need: Lots of vintage television sets (or cardboard boxes), a happy face, superhuman strength.

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