Berlin based artist BLO, from the Da Mental Vaporz crew, is currently showing a new exhibition entitled Anywhere, Out Of This Mind at Galerie 42b in Paris. We asked him a few questions to find out more.
AM: How long have you been preparing for this show?
BLO: After a year experimenting with abstraction, and following my artistic residency in Perpignan (FR) in November/December 2017, I decided to return my focus to figurative painting while exploring fragmented compositions. So, I have been preparing for my current show for the past five months.
AM: What is the inspiration behind the exhibition title Anywhere, Out Of This Mind?
BLO: The title of the exhibition is a reference to a poem by Baudelaire, Anywhere Out Of This World, with the last world being replaced by ‘mind’, as an invitation into the subconscious world.
AM: What are your sources of inspiration and creative process?
BLO: Based on contemporary photography and textures I have observed in the urban environment, I created preparatory collages on paper that served as first sketches for my canvasses and then let my inspiration flow on canvas until I am satisfied with the composition.
AM: What materials did you use?
BLO: For the first time, I have used very little spray paint. I focused on acrylic, oil paint, using pigments, varnish, and different types of inks and enamels to create a variety of textures on canvas.
AM: Some of your artworks are purely in black and white while others are colourful. Can you tell us more?
BLO: After the past two years, I wanted to create grayscale paintings again as a tribute to drawings, specially ink drawings, with a focus on textures.
The new body of work features a series of oniric painted assemblages with a mix of grayscale abstract shapes and surrealist female portraits. The figurative intertwines with the abstraction of lines and textures. Painted figurative cut outs inspired by found contemporary images are pieced together with energetic abstract brushstrokes. Playing with textures, focus and blur, light and shadows, it creates a dialogue between the real and subconscious.
A seductive choreography is set up by a series of assemblages, contrast and accumulation, layering of paint, erosion of textures and images. A dialogue is established between actions and reactions. Energetic abstract brushstrokes recall the gesture of the tag which blends with finesse and elegance onto the female body while silk and drapes bring elegance, lightness and sensuality to the female figures. Mastering anatomy and pose with great detail, the cut out paintings bring our focus on hands, legs, a mouth while the woman’s face remains blurred, as to transport us into a nostalgic and dreamlike world.