ALEX FOXTON’S LIPSTICK PAINTINGS
The painter-turned-designer talks about his obsession with the male image, Halloween parties and art
His pictures resonate through colour, the motive only unfolds on the second look, but it sticks. Alex Foxton studied Fashion design and worked in menswear for brands like Louis Vuitton, Martin Margiela, Bottega Veneta and Dior, his paintings show melancholic men. Men, friends, the boyfriend – the world in which the British thirty-something lives is shown through the means of pastel, pink and pop. His newest thing is using lipsticks to create his male images. Alex Foxton’s lipstick drawings are up at Ofr bookstore in Paris until the end of July: 20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris
Paris based make-up artist and Interview’s beauty editor Karin Westerlund talked beauty, masculinities and art with him.
Interview You did this series of paintings using mainly lipsticks and a tiny bit of blush: do you also put make-up on yourself?
Alex Foxton Not on a daily basis, but I love dressing up in costume
I… And on others?
AF Not yet!
I We met at a Halloween party where you and your boyfriend were dressed as Narcissus, attached to each other being the other’s reflection (it was brilliant, so cute!!). In what way do you reflect each other in life?
AF The Narcissus theme came about because people often comment on how similar we are, physically and in terms of character. We share a stupid sense of humour and seriousness when it comes to anything creative. But the best part of any relationship is the difference between the two people in it. I’m the uptight one and he forces me to relax.
I He is one of your frequent models, who would paint the portrait of you?
AF I’d want Alex Katz
I You are mainly painting boys/ men. Who are the women you paint and who would you like to paint?
AF I’m fascinated with the male image for the time being, but I have painted a couple of close female friends. Anyone with a strong character is good to paint.
I You worked as a designer for big fashion houses, such as Louis Vuitton and Martin Margiela, what made you go from there to become a full-time painter?
AF I actually still freelance as a designer and I still love it. I design men’s clothes so I guess you could say I have an obsession with the male image.
I Did it happen gradually or was it a conscious decision?
AF I’ve been drawing since I can remember, any chance I get. I did make a decision a few years ago to devote more time to drawing and that led to painting quite naturally. When I started painting on canvas it was like falling in love. I knew I had to make it part of my life.
I You described the colours used for this series as kitsch and the over 100 lipsticks you bought came from Tati and the local bazaar. What difference could it have made with luxury brand products?
AF I don’t know that much about lipstick but I imagine the luxury market to be more sophisticated and the colours more subtle. Also, I needed a ton of them and buying anything luxurious would have ruined me.
I If you were asked to do a lipstick line how would you name the lipsticks?
AF I would give them all butch male first names like Bruce and Leonard.
I What is your personal beauty rescue?
AF A cold shower, plenty of moisturizer and some eucalyptus oil
Interview KARIN WESTERLUND