Loui Jover: "Peek Behind the Canvas"
The Artwork Factory® couldn’t exist without the incredibly talented artists & designers, who both inspire as well as challenge us with their creativity and unique perspectives…
It’s an extraordinary pleasure to speak with these truly gifted creatives about their candid views, personal histories & artistic visions. We’re honoured that they’ve been gracious enough to open their studio doors to chat with us about their artistic identities and equally so to share these candid “Peeks Behind the Canvas” with our subscribers.
In this Edition we sit down with: Loui Jover, Australia...
Loui Jover‘s artwork involves drawing in ink over adhered-together old book pages. The very striking result: The pages give the drawings, as Jover puts it, “a kind of ‘meaning’ or back-story, even though they’re unconnected to the artwork in a contrived way.”
… there is a fragility to these images that I find interesting (as if the wind may blow them away at any moment) and the hand drawn stark black lines against the intricate printed words of the book pages offer a strange fusion and depth …
Interestingly, when picking book pages to use Jover doesn’t choose to explicitly connect them to the artwork. The connection, for example, between the drawing of the couple walking down the street at night and the manuscript pages they’re placed against is left entirely up to the observer. Jover’s process is to collide the two works “as chance permits,” allowing meaning to form in the imaginings of anyone who looks at the artwork.
Firstly, Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to speak with us… This is a no-holds-barred arena to speak as freely as you'd like about whatever’s on your mind… So, let’s jump right in!
In a sense and with complete seriousness: Art or creative work chose me... I've made and sold creative work in one sense or another since childhood, when my father used to try and sell a few of my cartoons and drawings at the steel works where he worked. I've done menial work to supplement my income along the way, such as working in a commercial kitchen or waiting on café tables but this has always been to support my career in creativity. Right now, I'm able to live and survive off of my work. Which, I'm very fortunate to say, is a real privilege.
2) What career do you think you’d like to try if you weren’t an artist and why?
None. This isn't due to arrogance but simply for the fact that apart from drawing, I'm unable to really do anything of much worth at all.
3) If you could share a studio for just one day with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
lol...So you mean share the studio with a corpse?.....No really, probably with someone like Modigliani or Francis Bacon because they would be great drinking partners and we wouldn't hang around the studio. Other than that, sharing a workspace is anethema to me. I can be troublesome and difficult... When in my creative work mode, I'm in want of complete privacy. At that point, I'd most likely end up arguing with whomever I was in the studio with, even if it were Picasso himself.
There really are many themes I'm fond of. I feel the primary theme for me is the feminine condition and all aspects of it... such as 'femanine beauty', 'emotion' and strength.
5) What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people would be surprised by the fact that there is very little to be surprised about....I'm very simple (not wanting to say boring...eheh). I draw most every day, I watch a little t.v, eat some food, brink some beer then go out to the studio again and draw till I go to bed, the next day it all starts again - 'Groundhog Day with ink' :)
6) Do you have any creative insights or tips for aspiring artists?
If I were to give any advise at all then it would be to find a “Finger Print” or 'style' that reflects the individuality of the artist themselves. Avoid simply replicating another's work, no matter how much one may respect it. Subject matter is a different story... There are only so many things to paint in the world. “Style” is what denotes an individual's work from a foray of others.
7) How would you like your art to be viewed by future art historians and art enthusiasts?
I'm not sure?..... I'm pleased if people connect with some of my work (now or in the future). However, I don't create drawings in the hope of this kind of attention or that kind of attention from this person or that.....I'm pleased for my work to find a home and be valued in some way, what artist wouldn't value this? To speculate on the future is just not my thing.....Van Gogh was considered crap in his own time and now his work reins supreme! Other successful artists from Vincent's era, who sold a lot of work in salons and galleries are now long forgotten...
I'm working on a series of drawings at this moment dealing with city scapes and places. it's interesting to make these drawings because it's a little more of a departure form the faces I make and I find trying to capture the essence of a city or place with nothing but ink challenging and rewarding, thus inspiring.
9) Define “Success” as an artist in your own words.
Success for an artist can only mean one thing to me, - The freedom to create as one feels a desire to. This is about being able to sell work to those who appreciate it enough to offer a living and lifestyle that is not too extravagant or to frugal....an artist with no money is too hungry to work... An artist with too much money becomes stifled and greedy, so his work in turn, suffers. An artist with enough money, for a moderate lifestyle, is free to work without the constraints of the two other fiscal issues. this is my though anyhow.
10) Any thoughts on the record setting auction prices being set for contemporary artwork?
Oh dear..... This is difficult to answer simply for the fact that any answer could be taken out of context or misinterpreted. Yet I shall offer an answer anyhow.... I personally feel the works that enter into this stratosphere of “Upsized Monetary Exchange” become a commodity, in want of a better term, and end up being parodies of themselves. As the work itself is somewhat forgotten and is traded on the name and perceived importance of the artist (who seldom if ever make the large amounts their works end up trading for in these mega auctions). The single isolated image, which has this monumental importance stuck too it, then it is the select wealthy ' Art Lovers' or more aptly titled 'Investors', who end up making profit in these sales. These exaggerated prices also have the effect of making fine works vanish from the public domain. For as prices become too inflated, these works become too much for the budgets of worthy institutions and galleries, which would show them on their walls for the public to share. Which, after all, is the fundamental reason for art, isn't it? Merely stuffing them into board rooms or storing them in wine sellers for a select few to enjoy sort of defeats the original purpose. In the end, I consider these mega art 'auctions' not such a good thing, but who am I to say?... Perhaps it is a good thing? I think there is much too much to consider on this loaded question for the space allocated here...lol
Anyone that thinks that the internet is not a blessing for young artist is foolish and out of touch! Even for us older artists, it is great!....I remember when I held a solo exhibition in Sydney Australia and many visitors came from all around because the exhibition was in central Sydney, a very busy city and the show was popular, yet overall, the visitors over the three week period of the show reached into the lower thousands. Yet, when I show works on my folio online, they reach into the higher thousands and continually climb as the net opens one's work up to millions of prospective collectors from all corners of the globe. How can this be anything but awesome?
12) Who’s your favourite artist at the moment?
Ai Wei Wei is a cool artist who's work is interesting and challenging. In all truth though, I don't look at much contemporary art. I find it a little amusing that people assume because you're creatively driven and make visual work that you must then be totally immersed or interested in everything that happens in the art world. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy galleries and looking at other's work (I just got back from a David Lynch exhibition yesterday). However, in the end, I don't lionize other artists working at this moment (as I might the masters of history). I just see that all artists are on a journey. Some are just luckier than others in a fiscal and social sense... It really doesn't mean that their works have more merit over another less fortunate artist. Who knows, perhaps the artist that I most admire is unknown at the moment and paints in a dark warehouse someplace?
13) Anything else that you’d like to mention that we didn’t ask?
I just want to add as an ending to this great opportunity to speak with you that I personally believe that art is of the people, all people not a select few who force art into a narrow confine and become philistines and pompous in their attitudes and hostile critique of art in general. One school or one attitude should not control the whole of the art world with money and exclusivity. Art is not a '' club ", it is everyone's and anyone's......and should exist as such... Galleries become mausoleums, stagnant and overly controlled, similar to a country with borders, locked and run by nationalistic despots...Let the people choose what art they want to see on their walls...this would sort out the art world almost at once....However, this will not happen any time soon, I'm afraid... Too many Hob Nobs have taken over the tower and rotting cow heads are the order of the day.