It's been a year since I first started creating the surrealist convertible lips for Under the Killing Moon, which debuted at The Outer Limits exhibition at Facére Art Jewelry Gallery. By Spring, Lip1 Lips Like Sugar was redesigned into a slightly smaller brooch for the Smithsonian show. Testing the market again come holiday season, Cautious Lip and Pillow Lips mini-me'd into an even smaller 2.5" convertible pendant/pin.
What on earth started this obsession with lips?
Glitter fashion makeup editorials. I had all of these glittery magazine spreads posted up in my studio for months, not sure why except they were enticing like candy. And like with anything else, the more you look, the more you see it everywhere. Lips lips lips. A postcard from the Dali Jewels Museum with Dali's infamous rubies and pearls lips brooch. Which led me on a surrealist road into watching Luis Bunuel's films. Lip imagery was all over his movie posters. Then the ultimate in glittery lips -- seeing NPH perform Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.
What to make of all these lips?
I dreamed of a wall covered with kisses - a larger installation and a way to enjoy looking at the lips when you weren't wearing them. Picking my favorite lips, I simplified and digitized them in Photoshop, creating maps that scaled to LEGO® bricks. Then plastered my wall with the maps and spread out my bins of LEGO® all around me. My phone's camera became my best tool, a discerning third eye that helped me see what was and wasn't working as I built up each lip. Take apart, redo, shoot, take apart, redo, shoot.
Music being a driving force in the studio, I was just starting to listen to Google Play Radio stations based on various New Wave artists. For some reason Echo and the Bunnymen's Killing Moon kept coming on. I actually stopped to listen to the lyrics, "Your lips a magic world / The sky all hung with jewels". BAM! It seemed so perfectly Dali-esque. How many New Wave/80's songs could I find that had Lips or Kiss in the title? Of course I made a playlist and these songs would inspire the 'tude and titles of lips as I plugged away through the wee hours.