ARTIST INTERVIEW: LOLA DUPRE

Lola Dupré’s attraction to the grotesque, the freakish, and the ugly manifests itself throughout her dexterously crafted collage portraits. The detail in her body of work is a result of the methodic dissection of photographs that are then transfigured in ways that distort and disfigure the original subjects. During this painstaking and laborious process—performed at her studio in Glasgow—the artist spends incalculable hours cutting, piecing and affixing small bits of paper together in a mosaic-type manner to explore new contours and shapes that transcend conventional depictions of the human body. Those who encounter her work are left thunderstruck, not only by the repugnancy of the malformed subjects, but also by the disciplined intensity of her workmanship. However, Dupré does not want to merely horrify or humor, but to evoke dialogue about each of her compositions.

Dupré is no novice to the collage art form, as she attests to cutting up pieces of felt and fashion magazines since toddlerhood. She restricts herself to the traditional realm of cut and paste, refusing to dabble in any sort of digital modification whatsoever. Earlier this year, her “Eight Equestrian Portraits” were selected to appear as part of an exhibition at The Collins Gallery at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow; these were eight manipulations of European political propaganda paintings, ranging from the late seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. No matter which medium she chooses to splice and dice, Dupré remains a true collagist—each piece it’s own assemblage of paper, glue and a lot of patience.  –Text by Richard Quigley

What is your name, where are you from, what is your star sign?

Lola Dupre. I am from Glasgow, Scotland. My star sign is Aries.

How did where you grow up influence your creativity?

I grew up in Algeria, France, England, and Scotland so I was exposed to a few different cultures as i was growing up. I think this has had a positive effect on my work in that it has given me scope and freedom to explore beyond my own doorstep.

What’s your process?

Paper upon paper, diced with scissors, arranged by brush with PVA.

You manipulate the human body in almost grotesque ways. What role does the grotesque and freakish play in your work?

I am fascinated and drawn to the grotesque, the occult, the secret, the freakish and the ugly. I think there is a great sense of humor in tragedy and misfortune. The deformed body is most appealing and interesting to me, as it is very expressive, sexy, and humorous in its unusualness.

How do you choose which portraits you want to manipulate? Is there a common thread between your subjects? (i.e Albert Einstein and Kim Novak seem quite different)

Depends. Sometimes I am just looking for a certain type of photograph with the right tonal balance, and sometimes I am inspired by someone’s deeds or looks. And sometimes I am working on commission. I sometimes portray people around me in Glasgow and sometimes political figures who are topical in the media. There is no common thread between them, unless you find one, of course!.

What is your mission as a creator?

To create dialogue.

How does living in Glasgow effect your work ? Any other exciting young Glaswegian artists?

To be honest, I am kind of sick of Glasgow now. At the end of this year, me and my partner are moving to the south of France. Glasgow can be a violent and grim city, however, very interesting at the same time. But my time here is coming to an end. I know some sexy young artists, there names are Yvonne Chiffon, FiST, Heather Lander, Seth Schwaiger, Elizabeth McDonald, Kepa Rasmussen, amongst others.

What direction do you see your work going in next?

I want to work more with fashion illustration and obscenity.

Freeform list of inspirations?

Parker our lovable pooch, nature, space, atomic fantasies, people, music, dust, paper scraps, everything under and beyond the sun.

Who is somebody you would like to do a portrait of that you haven’t yet?

Myself.

What’s next for Lola Dupre?

Later this year I have a solo show in Long Beach, California and I have a few magazine / book publications lined up for later in the year. Oh, and loads and loads of new collages.

Make up your own question and answer it.

Can I own a piece by Lola Dupre?

Yes you can! Go to loladupre.com, look around and choose something. Shoot me an email (I wont bite) and Bob’s your uncle!

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