US-based artist Alexis Fraser – otherwise known as Lipstick Lex – will be gracing Harbour City this summer with an exhibition of her unique lip-based artwork. Hailing from Florida in the US, Lex was in Hong Kong this week to launch the event…
Your artwork looks amazing. What initiated the idea for lipstick kisses to create pieces of art?
Thank you so much! The idea came to me in 2012 when I was challenged by a client to create a portrait of Marilyn Monroe in non-traditional way that would correlate with Marilyn. After a ton of brainstorming, the idea of creating the Hollywood bombshell with liptstick and kiss prints came to mind. It felt like a Eureka moment and this is where the seed for Lipstick Lex was sewn.
Have you always been involved with art?
I have been an artist at heart from the first time I could pick up a crayon. In high school, art class was everything to me. I went on to study fine art in college and decided I would do all I could to make art my full-time career. My art business today, Lipstick Lex, is both my full-time job and my passion.
What’s your preferred brand of lipstick when you’re creating a piece of work?
I love so many brands for so many reasons, but I tend to gravitate most often towards MAC, NYX and Klean lipsticks as they all have an amazing colour palette, are an easy price-point and are animal cruelty-free.
Ten thousands kisses for your latest canvas, Victoria Harbour at sunset, is a lot of kissing. How do you keep your lips lovely?
Honestly, I do end up with muscle fatigue! The process can be exhausting and I do feel tender if I work consistently for too many hours. Since my work requires both kissing and painting with lipstick on a paintbrush, I tend to bounce between the two techniques to give my lips a break. It’s a laborious process, but worth it to stay original in a sea of art.
What’s been your most challenging piece to date?
My last two murals hands down (including Victoria Harbour at Sunset). The larger the work, the more laborious the process. Plus working so close-up and needing to step back to make sure what I’m doing makes sense can be a challenge.
What’s your favourite piece?
There are so many pieces that I adore. I’m not sure I can pick just one. However, my tropical series, which is also featured at Harbour City, is my favourite collection to date. The pieces are vibrant, cheerful and positive. It’s feel-good art to feed the soul.
My next series will be placing an emphasis on spreading love and promoting self-love – watch out for it as what I have planned will be both beautiful and make a positive impact.
How do you get the lipstick to stick permanently to the canvas?
I coat each piece with an epoxy resin to prevent any smudging or fading. On pieces that I can’t epoxy – like my murals – I spray them with a UV protective finishing spray to protect and lock-in the pigments.
Have you visited Hong Kong before?
This is my first visit and a very exciting opportunity. Seeing the iconic Victoria Harbour has been such a treat. I also enjoy wandering off the beaten path a bit to see the authentic bits of a city so I’m looking forward to some casual exploration to get a nice sample of what Hong Kong has to offer. Food is also high on my to do list, I don’t think you can truly grasp a new culture without indulging in its cuisine.
And what’s your favourite after-work lipstick?
To be honest I often stick to lip balms while I’m off the job! But I do appreciate how lipstick can add a bit of vibrancy to your appearance, so I like Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms.
Any exhibition plans post-Hong Kong?
It’s still tentative, but it looks like my next stop will either be Miami, US, or Paris, France. Watch this space…
Sun Kissed Summer runs until July 22, 10am-10pm, Atrium II, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City.
Kiss Print Canvas Lipstick Art Workshop led by Lipstick Lex will run on June 29 at 6 & 7pm; June 30 at 2, 3 & 4pm; and July 1 at 2, 3 & 4pm; $100 per workshop.
The exhibition will also be complemented by a Lipstick Tasting Bar with 34 brands and over 200 shades for trial, www.harbourcity.com.hk