PARIS — A sculpture made of 330 pounds of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture number one lipstick currently stands in a room of the Palais de Tokyo museum here.
Called “1M3 de beauté” (or one cubic meter of beauty, in English), the piece helps open Fabrice Hyber’s show called “Matières Premières” (or Raw Materials), which will run through Jan. 7.
“It’s a material that is very supple, lipstick, especially in a large quantity,” explained the artist. “The material permanently moves. It is a work that is never finished, which is always evolving. It’s a living oeuvre.”
Hyber feels the piece’s ambiguity is in line with the designer Saint Laurent’s fashion, which mixed masculine and feminine elements.
“Giving another scale, in fact, one sees the material differently,” he added, referring to the tremendous mass of lipstick, versus the smaller quantity contained in a traditional tube. “It’s not the object itself that is underscored, but the material.”
In choosing the lipstick’s hue, Hyber said, “It needed to be a red that is very vivid, very present.”
“1M3” in many respects is an extrusion and extension of his first art project, entitled “1M2,” created in school in 1981. As its name suggests, the work is a 1-square-meter (or 11-square-foot) surface covered in lipstick, which hangs on a wall in the same room of the museum.