Contemporary artist Sara Pope is well known for her bold, seductive paintings of voluptuous lips. Taking inspiration from her experience working for several years in the fashion industry as a shoe designer, and in magazines as a designer and art director, Sara aims to capture the glamour and seductive power conveyed by the lips and mouth. Raising questions of beauty, consumerism, and the rise of image perfectionism Sara imitates the slickness of advertising, whilst provocatively subverting its themes.
All her paintings from this series start with a photographic shoot, a model and some make up. Sara is completely in control of each creative aspect, from the makeup, to the lighting and finally taking the photographs. Exploring the ideas of communication, she asks the model, to think of emotions, love, happiness or flirtation, which she captures photographically. Using the photos as a starting point she paints each piece by layering several thin layers of oil paint. A translucent, glass like quality results, achieving a, ‘polished’ version of reality. Sara is also known for her portraits, most notably having a portrait of the Pope accepted into the Vatican collection. Sara works in series’ or ‘collections’, painting a body of work with common stylistic elements and colour palette, as with seasonal collections in fashion.