The Skulls of Laurie Lipton

Lady Death

Lady Death
2004

 

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 with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing (with honours). 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 USA.

Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School. She tried to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 16th century Dutch Masters and failed. When traveling around Europe as a student, she began developing her very own peculiar drawing technique building up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatching lines like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw”, she says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the amount of effort. My drawings take longer to create than a painting of equal size and detail.”

“It was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘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 no one had ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back of my brain. 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 hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the color of ancient photographs and old TV shows… it is the color of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realized that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.”

La Luz

La Luz
2011

“I see ‘reality’ as deceptive.  I feel that we hold both heaven and hell within ourselves.  It’s not just one thing or another, but a strange interweaving of dark and light.”

Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte
2010

“I wanted to learn how to paint like Van Eyck or Memling or Rembrandt…”

Bone China

Bone China
2010

“I developed a unique way of drawing using thousands of cross-hatching lines to build up form, the way the early Renaissance painters used to create their egg-tempera paintings.”

The Knitter of Bones

The Knitter of Bones
2011

“Why do myths and legends, written thousands of years ago, still affect us today?”

The Umpteenth Anniversary

The Umpteenth Anniversary
2010

“Black & white is the color of ghosts, of lost time, of old photos and movies and longing.  It has a special atmosphere all it’s own.”

The Death Tarot Card

The Death Tarot Card
2010

“Death is as forbidden a topic in my culture as sex was in Victorian England.”

The Dead Factory

The Dead Factory
2009

“After all this time and all my research I’ve come to the conclusion that I know nothing.”

Queen of Bones

Queen of Bones
2009

“I sit for hours and work my butt off.”

The Dead Class

The Dead Class
2008

Tete A Tete

Tete A Tete
2008

 

The Sweets Seller

The Sweets Seller
2008

“Do you know any normal people?  I’ve run into a few and they frightened the hell out of me.”

Reunion

Reunion
2008

“After my mother’s death I realized that my society has no vocabulary for mortality and runs from it, screaming, throwing skin creams and Botox at it.  When I visited the Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico a year later, I couldn’t help but feeling envious of the Mexican approach to death.”

Resurgam

Resurgam
2008

Death of Romance

Death of Romance
2008

Midnight Commuters

Midnight Commuters
2007

 

Family Remains

Family Remains
2007

 

Dance Hall of the Corpse Couples

Dance Hall of the Corpse Couples
2007

 

Amor Eterno

Amor Eterno
2007

Amor Eterno (detail)

Amor Eterno
(detail)

 

Prime Time

Prime Time
2006

The Last Embrace

The Last Embrace
2005

 

Last Dance

Last Dance
2005

The Fourth Horseman

The Fourth Horseman
2005

 

Maskers

Maskers
2005

Madonna of the Sacred Bones

Madonna of the Sacred Bones
2005

La Huesera

La Huesera
2005

La Catrina

La Catrina
2005

 

Family Reunion

Family Reunion
2005

 

Facelift

Facelift
2005

Death and Maiden

Death and Maiden
2005

 

Los Paragueros

Los Paragueros
2004

“You can’t tell from computer screens or magazines the amount of work or detail that goes into each piece (or the scale of some of the pieces).”

Laurie Lipton at work.

Laurie Lipton at work.

Laurie Lipton with skull.

I think it’s safe to say that Laurie is obsessed with skulls…

Artist’s website: http://www.laurielipton.com/

Artist’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurieliptonart

Books:

9780980323122 518heQTnTfL

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