Travis Louie "Curious Pets" @ Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los AngelesJuxtapoz // Saturday, 12 Nov 2011
Travis Louie, a former Juxtapoz feature, will be opening a new body of work at Merry Karnowsky Gallery (alongside Chris Conn Askew) in Los Angeles. Curious Pets will feature some of Louie's larger works to date, but still with the odd, 19th Century science fiction look to them. If you haven't seen these works in person, they are quite impressive and really do appear as found photography.
Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by New York based artist Travis Louie. A consummate storyteller drawing on vintage photos from the 1800’s, Travis has ventured away from his standard fare of monster-morphed people to show you a side of equally odd humans with an affinity for Curious Pets. The underlying stories that are woven in the mind of the artist are far more expansive than the first impression of the pieces themselves and leave one to wonder who these characters are and how they got to this point in their specific journey.
The piece titled Oscar & the Truth Toad makes one inquire as to why and how this toad made Oscar finally tell the truth. As if to fully satiate the curiosity of collectors, Louie’s intricately woven stories about the characters will be displayed in the exhibition alongside the accompanying paintings. Trained as a photographic re-toucher the technique of the artist is one of utter refinement and explicit detailing. Layers of beautifully and meticulously applied acrylic form the mystic, dreamy quality of the work. Influences from his childhood range from sci-fi magazines to odd reclusive neighbors in his hometown of New York, visually quoting films both old (1920’s) and as new as Pan’s Labyrinth. His obscure characters are always surrounded by an uncertain kind of electricity and uncertainty.
Fanciful tales of odd pairings in his recent work play off the Victorian romanticism and mysticism he features with regard to religion and restraint in social values versus what goes on behind the closed doors of these misfits. Working in a relatively small format in the past, this exhibition will feature one of the largest undertakings ever completed by Louie; a painting of 30 x 40” still filled with all of the care and finesse he is know for.
November 12—December 12, 2011
Merry Karnowsky Gallery
Los Angeles, California