Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.
© Caroline Heinecke - Master of Things, Collection of Lipsticks: GDR lipsticks by Florena, Action series

The lipstick museum of star make-up artist René Koch

Dec 18, 2020 - Caroline Heinecke

Kiss-proof and artfully draped – this is how the lipsticks from René Koch’s collection shine. The star make-up artist and cosmetician, also known as “Mr. Lipstick”, knows exactly how to skilfully present his favourites: in the world’s only lipstick museum.


© Caroline Heinecke - Master of Things, Collection of Lipsticks: Table at the Lipstick Museum, Berlin

Here – in the middle of old West Berlin – the 250 exhibits on display compete for the viewer’s attention. They outdo each other with impressive colours, shapes and textures. Like ageing divas, some seem to be looking back on times gone by, the stories of their glittering careers on their lips. From the Baroque to the 19th century and the post-war period to the present day – lipsticks from all eras come together here. In addition, posters, kissing mouths of stars and the most diverse formulations also adorn the exhibition.


The foundation stone for this colourful collection was laid by Hildegard Knef’s lipsticks. Koch subsequently found what he was looking for mainly on the Internet, at flea markets and through friends all over the world. All in all, he can look back on a very eventful life. Whether as a drag queen or chief make-up artist for Yves Saint Laurent, style and cosmetics have always accompanied him.


© Caroline Heinecke - Master of Things, Collection of Lipsticks: Doormat in the museum

Koch is well aware of the strengths of his beautiful friends: “Although lipstick is so small, it can do a lot. With the most diverse colours, a woman can change very quickly: sophisticated, girly, sporty.” Anyone who has ever indulged in the intoxication of pigments knows that this is far more than a mere lip statement.


© Caroline Heinecke - Master of Things, Collection of Lipsticks: René Koch on his couch with a giant Lipstick