When hearing the term ‘Botox art’, images of skillful placement of the muscle-relaxing injections by a doctor may spring to mind – and while this would of course be the case, there’s a much more literal meaning to the phrase thanks to artist Linton Meagher who has created artworks using Perspex, resin, paint, and a tonne of empty Botox vials.
Titled ‘You’re looking a million dollars’, the series includes portraits of two Hollywood Icons, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Although the two women would never have had injectables since Botox was first discovered to reduce wrinkles in the early 1990s, Hepburn and Monroe are still considered to be epitomes of classic beauty.
“Many people would consider them to be examples of the ideals of beauty, and some may wish to pursue cosmetic techniques to achieve such ideals,” Meagher explains.
“These Botox works echo Andy Warhol’s series exploring iconic figures. Hence, I wanted to select people who are famous beauties that are instantly recognisable.”
The increasing popularity of injectable treatments is what has inspired Meagher’s art.
“In previous exhibitions, I have cast various mass-produced objects, such as surgical scalpels, bullets and lipstick. I like the way that these objects can be taken out of their usual context and presented in a way that challenges the viewer to question their wider meaning in society. This Botox series is therefore an extension of previous themes in my art practice,” the artist says.
For months, he collected empty Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin vials from clinics in Sydney and Perth.
“Clinicians have been very supportive of this creative project and I am extremely grateful for their help. The vials are empty and are irreversibly locked in resin in the final artworks. If they were full, I would have the equivalent of 1.4 million dollars’ worth of Botox vials,” he says, hence giving his art the name ‘You’re looking a million dollars’.
The Botox art will be on display 19th June to 1st July, 2018 at an exhibition at the Maunsell Wickes Gallery in Paddington Sydney.
It’s not surprising Meagher has already received expressions of interest from clinicians who work with Botox, but he says they would look great anywhere.
“The vials cast a really interesting shadow on the wall when they are displayed en masse. These Botox art works are not intended to be just for people working in the health and beauty industry.”
Meagher also takes on commissions, and is happy to create bespoke portraits using everyday objects.
Commissions for people living in Sydney need to be organized directly through Meagher’s gallery in Sydney, Maunsell Wickes Gallery (www.maunsellwickes.com). People living interstate or overseas can approach him directly via his website. www.lintonmeagher.com