"Lips" by Sara Pope
Contemporary artist Sara Pope is best known for her bold, seductive paintings of voluptuous lips. Taking inspiration from a successful career in the fashion industry (as a shoe designer for brands such as Paul Smith), and her work in magazines as a designer and art director, Sara aims to capture the sensuality and seductive power conveyed by the lips and mouth. Interested in questions of beauty, communication, and the rise of image perfectionism, Sara uses the perspective of her commercial experience to explore these themes. The starting point is a makeup brush and a lipstick. She paints the models lips, then, using tricks and techniques of makeup and lighting, she begins the process of creating the perfect lips. She asks the model, to express different emotions which she captures photographically. Using these shots as inspiration she begins the artwork. The painting process involves several layers of thin oil-diluted paint being overlaid, blending and smoothing the colours extensively at every stage, sometimes also mixing lipstick into the paint. Emulating the stylistic slickness of advertising, the result is glossy, perfect and irresistible. Sara is currently represented by 19 galleries in the UK and internationally. Last year she completed successful solo shows with Jealous Gallery, London, Lilford Gallery, Folkestone during the Folkestone Triennial, as well as a joint London show with Magnus Gjoen. 2018 began with a solo show at D Contemporary gallery, Mayfair, London and Sara is currently working towards a solo show at Next Street Gallery, Paris in September. Sara has completed collaborations with The Big Issue, BareMinerals makeup, PIAS music label, and Swedish fashion label Limitato. She is also the first British female artist in over 70 years to have a piece of work accepted into the Vatican collection.