HL Arts: Sophie Kipner - Keeper of The Artist’s Secret

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Growing up an abstract artist, Sophie Kipner one day began coloring inside the lines, adhering to boundaries, stifling herself until she found a way back to the magic, the natural artist hiding in every child, and refused to let go.

Some adults like to say that when we are little, we are all natural artists. Then, as we grow up, they say, we learn to color inside the lines, to accept the rules and general conformity that typically comes with adulthood, and sadly, we loose that extraordinary brand of magical freedom that we enjoyed as children.

But artist Sophie Kipner appears to have found a creative way to get back to all that, to get past the barriers time puts in our way, and rekindle the excitement of making art with raw emotional impact. "A friend says I found the back door," she explains.  

Sophie has discovered a way to keep the process of making art, or even looking at it, completely original and entertaining. With shows such as her DONTLIFTUPDONTLOOKDOWN exhibition at WNDO Space in L.A., Kipner's work offers gallery goers familiar faces, iconic figures in modern pop culture, music, and the arts, presented with a remarkable twist.

The identifiable details are there, captured with some symbolism, irony, or a dash of humor, frequently, on a large scale.

Without the standard components of portraiture, like facial symmetry or proper perspective, though, it's almost as if we are viewing these figures through a funhouse mirror. An elongated dancing Mohammed Ali floats above a defeated opponent. Lines overlap to form a 'crowd' of rapper Biggie Smalls.

Producing these recognizable likenesses might be a lot more difficult than most viewers realize, given the restraints Kipner imposes on herself. Her uncommon method also keeps her style from ever being predictable, and that's the way she wants it.  

"When I finally looked down at Bob Dylan, I saw piano keys went through his face. Like he was eating the piano."

When Sophie draws, she never looks down until she is finished. Never. Like the name of her show, DONTLIFTUPDONTLOOKDOWN, she never takes her eyes off the subject and never lifts the pen while she's drawing. In art schools, this is known as Blind Contour Drawing.

It's often taught as an exercise to improve hand-eye coordination. After Sophie used the method as a dinner party game to help two shy friends break the ice and launch a romance, she was delighted to discover that the experiment also enlivened her work, and since then, she has taken the technique to another level, producing drawings that she ultimately enhances (while looking), with paint.

Paul Klee once said, "Drawing is taking a line for a walk." That may have been true for Mr. Klee. Ms. Kipner, however, takes her lines on an adventure, and this bold journey has attracted many brave patrons. When Kipner begins each new commissioned portrait, the sitter or patron has absolutely no idea what the finished piece will ultimately look like. And neither does she.

She says she often thinks, "Wow, how is that going to turn out?" This element of surprise is deliberate, and all part of her plan. "It's so exciting!" she says. "For me, it feels very free, and this way, making art is never a chore." While she acknowledges that her style of drawing is not always flattering, people are usually very happy with the results. "Because it's so abstract that it doesn't feel like they've got a picture of themselves on their wall."

Does she ever worry about becoming 'too good' at contour drawings? "Oh sure," she admits. "You have to keep tricking yourself. I don't ever want it to be too aligned, too perfect. To keep the process going, sometimes I turn the entire piece upside down. Or I use my other hand to draw."

Child's play, it turns out, is a lot of hard work. But Kipner is thrilled to be able to make a living as an artist. "It's so rewarding to know that my work hangs in people's homes. I want them to have it," she confesses. Sophie sells her work mainly through social media, or her website, and through gallery shows. Many of her commissions come from people seeing her posts online at sites like Facebook and Instagram. "People will tag their friends, so they will contact me. People also post when they buy pieces and share them with more people."

In addition to her commissioned work and gallery sales, Kipner has seen rewards for approaching other art forms without incorporating the conventional rules. She doesn't limit herself to lines. Or words. Her new novel, "The Optimist," will soon be published and Kipner is also the host of "Everything," a web series that features profiles of up and coming new artists.

For more about Sophie Kipner, her art, or to see video of her at work, visit www.sophiekipner.com  

Haute Tease

  • Op/Ed: Sacrificing Freedom to Vaccination

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Oath of Hippocrates states physicians have the duty to advise their patients according to the best of their ability and judgment. Physicians usually recommend vaccination, believing that for a particular patient, the benefit exceeds the risk.

     
  • McQueen Review - A Four Star Fashionista Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    McQueen, from Bleecker Street, presents the rags to riches story of iconic Fashion Designer Alexander "Lee" McQueen, whose unbelievable journey could never have been imagined bringing him from his working class East London home to the House of Givenchy.

     
  • American Made Movie Review – Re-Born in the USA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    American Made Movie,” from Life Is My Movie and Variance Films, brings to the screen a call-to-action documentary presenting a plan to return American Made to a position of strength in the global economy.

     
  • Chocolate Treats and Truffles: A Chocolate Lover’s Delight

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chocolate Treat and Truffles, held at the world renowned International Culinary Center in lower Manhattan, a four hour intensive that focuses on the fine art of creating mouth watering, indulging, sinfully delicious chocolate confectionary treats!

     
  • Please Stand By Review – Unexpectedly Charming, Uplifting, A Trekki Fan Finds Hope and Courage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Please Stand By, from Magnolia Pictures, presents the story of an functional autistic girl obsessed with Star Trek who decides to enter the script writing contest and her journey to make the deadline despite her beliefs of limitation.

     
  • Lladró Presents Niagara Chandelier Gold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Lladró, the world renowned Spanish porcelain company, presents Niagara Chandelier-Gold, a new version of spectacular Niagara chandelier decorated with golden luster. Over 100 handmade porcelain fairies flutter around this lamp with a diameter of 1.1 meters (31 1/2").

     
  • World News: Netanyahu Razor-thin Win Moves Israel Right

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With 97% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-of-center Likud party has sustained a razor-thin win, defeating Benny Gantz's left-leaning Blue and White party, receiving 37 seats to Gantz's 36, but the victory is actually much greater than it appears.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump, Manafort, Cohen, Mueller, Manning, February Jobs, Tornadoes, NK Nukes, 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump traveled to Alabama this week and autographed Bibles for those devastated by the recent Tornadoes, continued to defend the North Korean Summit, the economy and divided his opinions on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

     
  • LA Arts: LA Art Show Celebrates Modern and Contemporary Artists

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The beloved Littletopia section of the ​LA Art Show has showcased some of the fastest rising lowbrow and pop art galleries, curators and artists in the world,a movement that first flourished in Southern California, returns.

     
  • Hungarian Parliament Declares State of Migration Emergency

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hungarian Parliament passed a law last week that gave the government the right to declare a state of migration emergency to cope with the tens of thousands of refugees crossing the border which bring military and legal powers to police.

     
  • Meet The Bed Experts: Luxor Linens Brings the Highest Quality Home Textiles to You with Just the Click of a Mouse

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn." – Gandhi.  Like Gandhi, we like to think of our bed as a sanctuary, the most relaxing place to start and end the day, an oasis far away from all of our problems.

     
  • Burn Out Review - Gritty, Edgy, A High Octane Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Burn Out, from 24 25 films and WY Productions presents a powerful contemporary drama set inner city Paris, where the local dealers hold neighborhoods hostage, turf wars are common and dreamers still strive and fight to find a way out.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week: Ziad Nakad Fall Winter Collection - Feminine, Sensual, Elegant

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ziad Nakad debuted his Fall/Winter Collection 2016/2017 formal wear collection during Paris Fashion Week, Ready-to-Wear, which stands as a tribute to the audacious and powerful woman; a woman of character, the woman affirmed in its brilliance, free to dress boldly, provocatively, sexy.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Syrian’s Assad Challenges Obama; Iranians Elect Moderate Cleric President

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has issued his strongest warning yet to Syrian leader Basher al-Assad as the troubled dictator has gathered military support from Russian President Vladimir Putin as he seeks to defend his country.

     
  • LUXE Rodeo - A Global Dining Destination; Join LUXE Sunset for a Lavish Easter Buffett March 31, 2013

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LUXE Worldwide with ultra luxurious properties around the world includes within its portfolio some of the most exclusive boutique hotels located in every chic, fashionable and trendy neighborhood in every destination city, throughout the world.