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 also 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 notion of perfection, 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.
Pope’s work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions and art fairs across London and internationally, including Next Street Gallery, Paris, The Saatchi Gallery, London, The London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts and SCOPE Miami. Sara sells work regularly at auction at Bonhams Auction House, and is also the first British female artist in over 70 years to have a piece of work accepted into the Vatican collection.