Artist Statement (2019)
2019, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
This series of works, “Negative Space”, deals with modern day human interactions. Within the series Louis has sub-divided his subject into three parts. The first is the deeper representations of humans and human interaction, the second is the superficial nature of so many of our interactions, and the last is how easily we discard those interactions and relationships.
The deeper interactions are represented by the beautifully detailed drawing of various fruit. By working purely in black and white in high contrast, Louis forces the viewer not to be distracted by color, but rather to look at the true nature of the object. The fruit represent the people we meet and although in modern life style we tend to overlook the nature of a person; Louis implores us to look deeper. While on the surface we are each individuals and unique, beautiful, textured and interesting it’s only when we look to the inner workings of the individual that we truly get to know them. The things that drive us and influence us.
Louis took pleasure in smashing, crushing and peeling away the outer layers of the fruit to expose the inner workings and true function of the fruit. By exposing the “flesh” he shows us the seeds that were hidden and protected, it’s these seeds that give new life. They represent man’s seeds of ideas, imagination as well as the promise of new growth.
As part of the series “Negative Spaces”, Louis represents the slightly pricklier people that cross our paths, as succulents.
These are the people that we may try and avoid meeting as they appear inapproachable at first glance. Louis suggests that they may not be as they seem. These are people that have built barriers, but once the perimeter thorns are removed they offer beautiful flowers and juicy fruit.
The embossed works in contrast to the drawings work on a superficial plane, if we only view the people around us or interact with the people around us only on a superficial level, never taking the time to look further then we begin to see only what’s on the surface, no detail, no depth. Leaving us with ghost like figures moving in and out of our lives without ever leaving an impression.
The last group of objects, plastic waste, foil and rags represent how we treat interactions and relationships. The plastic shows how quick we are to discard relationships and interactions that should be cherished. Instead of working through differences we tend rather to erase people completely from our lives, this Louis represents with dirty rags. By using them he invites us to reflect on our interactions and our relationships as well as reminding the viewer that in our daily interactions we reflect our moods and thoughts to one another. The idea of this collection is to remind us that real interactions are important, sharing thoughts and feelings and connecting on a deeper level is what fills our world with color.
One Million Pixels
Louis’ series “One Million Pixels” was initially influenced by Andy Warhol’s’ iconic pop art series of pixelated images of Marilyn Monroe.
Louis’ approach to modern religious, political and iconic figures is however devoid of color focusing rather on texture, creating a tactile surface.
These images are his views on iconic figures, influenced by his own life experience, his textured view. He is not trying to enforce his views and thoughts on the matter, but rather invites you to engage in conversation and share your views.
His thoughts are that one opinion is no better than another and that views should be heard and respected.
Stag Beetles begin life as larvae and can spend up to 6 or seven years underground just waiting for the perfect conditions to emerge as fully-fledged beetles into the sun.
So often people are too impatient, we want to run before we can walk, putting us in positions that we are not yet prepared for, ill-equipped we blunder about, being scorched by the sun instead of warmed.
During the Stag Beetles larvae state it will shed its skin up to five times as it grows, slowly preparing itself for the day it will emerge above ground as a beetle. Louis reminds us that we too are ever-changing, we need to allow ourselves time to grow. Not to be too set in our ways, but to discard rigid ideas and views to allow ourselves to learn new skills and adapt our outlook to match our ever-changing environment.
The average fly has a lifespan of 28 days. In that short amount of time they accomplish an amazing amount and serve an important purpose.
In larvae form they clean wounds, as adults they are natures cleaners, cleaning everything from feces to decaying flesh. Some flies even serve to pollinate flowers.
Yet we view them as annoying pests to be destroyed.
Louis creates images of this moment of human interference and poses a question to the viewer. If a lowly fly can accomplish so much in 28 days, what can we do in 70 plus years?
He reminds us that even the smallest creatures have purpose and that as humans each and every one of us has the ability to reach amazing heights of accomplishment.
He asks us to live our lives with purpose and to strive to be better than we were the day before.
Call: +27 83 675 0150
10th - 26th September 2020 – LIQUID BLACK at the Association of Arts Pretoria opening, 10am.