// you’re reading...


Artist Laurie Lipton interviewed about her drawings and favorite books

Readersvoice.com aims to give a few good reading tips. For the February issue I contacted hoax expert (but not practitioner) Alex Boese, who has a great website and book called Museum of Hoaxes. First up, though, I asked artist Laurie Lipton about her excellent drawings and her favorite books.

READERSVOICE.COM: Just say you could go back to yourself when you were 17 and present yourself with a recommended reading list. What would be on it?

LAURIE LIPTON: What a lovely question! And hard.
My 17 year old self wouldn´t have listened to my recommended reading list, or anybody over the age of 30 – but I would have liked to have read The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra at that age (though it hadn´t been written yet), The Memoirs of Carl Jung, The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim, and The Golden Bough compiled by Fraser.
Those books challenge perceptions of reality and use myth and symbolism to express the human condition.
They were things I was struggling with at that age, and they would have blown my mind.

RV: What sort of magazines and newspapers do you like to read?
LL: I read the Sunday papers. They´re like Chinese food: you can read a ton of them, then feel empty one hour later.

I also buy a weekly magazine called Time Out, that has listings of what´s on in London and the Evening Standard every day.

RV: Your drawings display a high degree of technical excellence and detail. Do you rely entirely on imagination and memory or do you use models/photographs and on-site scenes to compose and complete your images?

LL: I use whatever comes to hand to make my drawings look “real”. My experience and imagination are my best tools, however. I´ve been drawing since the age of four.

RV: Also your images are psychologically provocative and fear seems to be a big theme. How would you explain your need to identify with and create them in this manner?

LL: I was a perfect child. I was pretty, intelligent, well-behaved and loved my parents very much. I didn´t know what to do with the sizzling mass of negative feelings that infiltrated into my perfect being.

I wasn´t encouraged to act out my fear or anger. I found a way to cope with the dark side of my soul through art.
I used to sit alone and draw for hours as a child. My parents were very proud of my talent and would display my work whenever company came to the house. People would look at me (a pretty, sweet little girl), then look at my drawings (monsters, screaming devils, mayhem and blood), and edge slowly away.
My mother was asked how she felt about my “horrible, angry imagery”.
She merely shrugged her shoulders and said, “Better out than in”.
-continued next page.

-copyright Simon Sandall.