This week I interviewed artist Norax Ayala on her lipstick focused artwork. She is originally from Southern California and had attended Long Beach then went to graduate school before settling into Anaheim. Artists that inspires her are Francisco Devuya known for his etchings and Andy Warhoff. All together it took her eighteen hour days for two weeks to complete her exhibition.
Her pieces of art were created by nothing more than different hues of lipstick smeared onto transparent layers.
Lipstick was rubbed in certain areas where then the paper was pressed down on another piece to “transfer the image. The lipstick bought was “cheap lipstick” that she usually bought from drug stores because she did not want to spend twenty dollars for each tube.
The works plays on the idea that lipstick goes on the lips and lips go on other body parts to let viewers and think about it. The motion of rubbing could also be percieved of other things rubbing onto each other – like what partners do in the time of intimacy. Her inspiration was herself, the pieces were brought upon an extension of her own work and a lot of it also has to do with gender politics – on the views of feminists. As an advocate of the LGBT community, her artwork reflects on personal life and what she cares about – her partner.
While looking at the pieces and after hearing Ayala’s thoughts on her own work I took my own perspective to the liptstick paintings. To me I see flesh and intimacy due to her choice of colors. The overlapping of the colors on the transparency of the papers made me think of how bodies usually overlap with each other in a beautiful mess. It could be the deeper the colors, the deeper the intimacy – if left grey the relationship could have been just bland, or a type of intimacy without true connection or love.
You can find Norax Ayala on Instagram: @norax_darko