Dark House Studio
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Sara Pope

Contemporary artist Sara Pope is 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 also her work in magazines as a designer and art director, Sara aims to capture the glamour 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, love, happiness or flirtation, which she captures photographically.

Using the 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 she also mixing lipstick into the paint. Emulating the stylistic slickness of advertising, the result is glossy, perfect and irresistible.

Sara is currently represented in ten galleries in the UK and internationally. She has two solo shows scheduled for this year, in London and also in Folkestone during the month long Folkestone Triennial. She has also recently completed collaborations with BareMinerals makeup, PIAS music label and Saatchi&Saatchi.