Artist: Sven Loven
Exhibition title: Steven
Venue: Christian Andersen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: January 20 – March 11, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Christian Andersen, Copenhagen
Steven, in guise as a slithering swain, rising from the river water.
“let’s meet up for kappa-maki. I know this great place.”
Steven, bursting with the energetic enthusiasm of a scurrying pest, sees his hopes crushed by the object of his desire.
He wonders, through this process, how dare they capitalize off of his tribulations, his quests for love.
Ascending from the torment of dyadic conflict, he summons the strength of an archangel.
Finally, she appears, consonant in strength, an apparition of feminine heroicism.
Catching sight of his own reflection, he realizes that the vision he pursued was within himself all along…
This body of work emerges from the pursuit of emotive mirrors found in commonplace arcana. In times of distress, why do we empathize with images that we would otherwise scorn or discard? How silly that song lyrics and generic phrases take on deeper meaning, as if the intellect and the heart were at odds, never settling on the same thing at once. Courtship, conducted through the vertiginous labyrinths of current technology, can lead actors to pursue a myriad number of fantastical selves. The poet Aaron Hill, writing nearly three centuries ago, spoke of the “charming majestic nakedness in the nervous simplicity and plain soundness of pathetic nature which went to the hearts of our forefathers, without stopping at their fancy, or winding itself into their understanding through a maze of mystical prettiness.”1
The constant spectacle of hyper-connectivity in the present moment has created a maze of mystical prettiness without comparison to another period. In this time of incessantly mutant aesthetics, a charming and majestic nakedness found in the dizzying fancies of the ephemera continually changing around us can reveal a novel angle to our pathetic nature.
1 Aaron Hill, Plain Dealer, No. 36
Sven Loven, Ideal lover, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 223.50 × 144 cm
Sven Loven, I never gave you my all because I never knew if I would get it back, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 213.50 × 229 cm
Sven Loven, Spurned Suitor, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 224 × 198 cm
Sven Loven, How can we monetize love, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 214 × 244 cm
Sven Loven, I wrote your name on a bullet, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 214 × 168 cm