Drawings by Laurie Lipton
Drawings by Laurie Lipton. Laurie Lipton is one of the leading contemporary artists of our time. Her ideal from the point of view of technology and frightening content pictures leave no one indifferent: her drawings are loved or hated. Laurie Lipton has been drawing since age 4. Laurie Lipton studied 17th century Dutch masters to develop her own unique style of pencil drawing. The subject of her art – death in beautiful detail. Now the artist lives and works in England
Laurie Lipton was born in New York and began drawing at the age of four. She was the first person to graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania, Fine Arts Degree in Drawing (with honors). She has lived in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France and has made her home in London since 1986.
Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the U.S. Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish school. She tried to learn the style of the Dutch Art Masters of XVI century. Traveling around Europe as a student, she began to develop her very own peculiar drawing technique increasing the tone with a few thousand fine shading lines like an egg tempera painting. This is an insane way to draw, she says, but the detail and luminosity is worth spending the amount of effort.
“My drawings take longer to created a painting of equal size and detail. This was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended college. My teachers told me that figurative art was ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes, but splashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something that nobody had ever seen before, something that lurked in the depths of my being. I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling, Van Eyck, Goya and Rembrandt”.
“The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white made my heart beat. The black and white is the color of old photographs and old TV shows … it is the color of ghosts, desire, time passing, memory, and madness. White and black hurt. I found it perfect for my work”.
When I visited Mexico in order to see The Day Of The Dead festival some years later, I couldn’t help feeling envious of their approach to mortality. Families gathered on graves and picnicked, whole villages turned up with food for households in mourning. Death was treated as normal, even silly. Candied skulls grinned in their hundreds and skeletons danced in a fair-ground atmosphere. I decided to rebel against my heritage and create drawings inspired by the mood and atmosphere of the Mexicans. I decided to get in-touch with my bare bones. My culture runs from death, screaming. We worship youth, beauty and the illusion that we have all the time in the world. We frantically face-lift and botox, and throw pills, creams and money at death. We fool ourselves into thinking that death only happens to other people & only losers die. Skulls always look like they’re laughing. Maybe the joke is on us?