Q & A with 2015 Paper Variables Artist Gina Beavers

Dieu Donné
Jun 25, 2015 7:31PM

Red Lipstick, Kim Kardashian, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Ombre Lip Tutorial is a new Paper Variables commission by Gina Beavers. Working with Studio Collaborator Amy Jacobs, the artist created an edition of 36 low-relief pulp paintings made with cotton and pigmented linen paper pulp. In four grids of nine, each work shows a different step in the process of a make-up application technique, and each grid reflects a different color effect. 

Select works from this series and Brock Enright's edition out there will be on view in the Paper Variables exhibition at Dieu Donné through July 18. Contact Bridget Donlon for more information or to subscribe. 

Q & A with Gina Beavers 

How did you like ‘painting’ with pulp, and working in the Dieu Donne studio with your studio collaborator Amy Jacobs? How is it different from or similar to your painting with acrylic? 

It's amazing, and freeing. There's something's about getting into a new technique when you're a novice that's really liberating. You're trying to figure it out, and going in directions you might not normally allow yourself. Amy is the best, so supportive and driven and knowledgeable, the best collaborator you could ask for. The whole idea of working independently within a studio set-up where there are lots of other things going on was different for me than my usual lone-wolf scenario, but I was happy that I found a place where I could focus within it, and Amy pulling fresh sheets to work on and checking in, kept the pace up. Rather than mixing most colors on my palette as I would do when making a painting, Amy had pre-mixed an incredible array of vibrant colors ready to go for me. I usually take photos of works in progress and reflect on them, but these were created the same day and seeing the dried, finished pieces a few weeks later was exciting and totally different than my usual process. 

In your research on social media, what is the craziest make up look you have come across and have you ever tried any of these looks yourself? 

The weirder ones have probably more to do with style trends that are more cross-cultural, like tons of crazy colorful eye-shadow that would look nuts in real-life. Besides that there are badly injected lips and tons of costume make-up lips, like jack-o-lantern lips, or fire lips which are crazy and awesome. I'm terrible at make-up, the only thing I ever tried was that super red lipstick trend which migrated all over my lip region till I looked like the Joker, and which I was so conscious of all day, it was painful. Like when the only thing going through your mind is 'how are my lips, how are my lips?!' The worst! 

Your process in painting these works was pretty parallel to the steps of applying make up, which makes use of artistic techniques like shading and trompe l’oeil perspective. Which painters from art history could also have been great makeup artists? 

Ingres for sure. Definitely some of the surrealists like Magritte. Rosenquist would be amazing especially with the airbrush make-up looks! 

Being partially responsible for bringing the effects of contouring makeup to the public’s attention, which one is your favorite Kardashian and why? 

I have to say Kim, she seems to be the essence of what it means to be a Kardashian, which to me is 'always get the photo!' But she also seems pretty chill and up for anything, and I love Kanye! 

Gina Beavers working with Studio Collaborator Amy Jacobs in the Dieu Donné wet studio, Spring 2015.

About the Artist: Gina Beavers received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo presentations of her work have been at Clifton Benevento Gallery, New York; Nudashank, Baltimore; James Fuentes, New York; Fourteen30, Portland, OR; Retrospective, Hudson, NY; and Material Art Fair, Mexico City. Her work has been included in group shows at the Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art; Abrons Art Center, New York; Canada Gallery, New York; and Night Gallery, Los Angeles, among others. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications including the New York Times, Artforum, the New Yorker and Modern Painters. In 2015 her work will be included in the group exhibitions Muscular curated by artist John McAllister at Kansas Gallery, New York, (June) and Let’s Get Figurative at Nicelle Beauchene (October). Beavers will have a solo presentation at Michael Benevento in Los Angeles. She is represented by Clifton Benevento in New York.

 About Paper Variables: Paper Variables is an opportunity to collect art by renowned contemporary artists at an affordable price while making an important contribution to the creation of new work in handmade paper. Paper Variables projects incorporate the unique “wet studio” processes that are available to artists at Dieu Donné. Embracing the egalitarian spirit of the traditional edition, this artist-driven series produces new works in collaboration with our studio staff, featuring unique touches of the artist’s hand. Each year, artists work in collaboration with our studio staff to create dynamic new works for this series. Proceeds help to support the residency and exhibition programs at Dieu Donné. The 2015 Paper Variables artists are Gina Beavers and Brock Enright. 

About Dieu Donné: Dieu Donné is a non-profit contemporary artist workspace dedicated to the creation, promotion, and preservation of new art made using hand papermaking techniques. The organization’s primary services and programs are devoted to working with mid-career and emerging artists through collaborative residency opportunities.The Dieu Donné gallery is open to the public Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 6pm and Saturday 12 - 6pm or by appointment.

Ombre Lip Tutorial, 17/36, 2015
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Ombre Lip Tutorial, 18/36, 2015
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Ombre Lip Tutorial, 16/36, 2015
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Dieu Donné