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August 20 2014

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Lip Service, With Courtney Love

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Though it was mostly drawings on display last night at Courtney Love’s art exhibition And She’s Not Even Pretty, there was a certain John Galliano wedding dress (which never made it down the aisle) that had the likes of Julian Schnabel, Humberto Leon, and Eddie Borgo buzzing. While the words hand-scrawled on the white gown aren’t quite fit to print, the material with which they were written is just as noteworthy. “[It's] lipstick,” Love revealed of the aggressive sanguine pigment during a conversation that covered everything from her Jewish roots to getting noise complaints from high-profile neighbors. (While she was working on her pieces for the show, one David Bowie apparently called the police on Love for “playing Fleetwood Mac at 9 A.M.—explain that to me?!”) The scarlet letters have an equally head-scratching origin. According to the artist, she was very close to scoring the lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hit Moulin Rouge (“Baz says this in Vanity Fair. He got in a huge amount of trouble from Nicole [Kidman's] people because directors don’t do that,” Love insisted). “When [Luhrmann] was directing [the movie], he wanted a bluer red [lipstick], so he got this blue-red from Make Up For Ever and they gave me some. I was like, Oh, fucking more reminders,” Love continued of her back stock of the brand’s Rouge Artist Intense #43 Moulin Rouge Satin Vibrant Red bullet. “The point is, I was a little drunk and I just wanted to deface it.” And so she did—both the lipstick and the gown. The double devastation is on view at Fred Torres Collaborations, 527 W. 29th St., NYC, through June 15.

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