VEGAS is delighted to present 'Very Ape', a solo exhibition by Swiss artist Pascal Rousson, which delves into the concept of primitive world and its elements. This will be the last exhibition held at its current premises on Vyner Street, the gallery is excited to mention the move to an independent new space at the end of February.
Pascal Rousson seeks to explore the cavemen's way of life and to identify with it. Subsequently, 'Very Ape' can be perceived as a complication, representing random findings of a caveman in his chaotic behaviour: a collection of found objects that a primitive human being saw as means of bringing value to his existence and, most importantly, to make more sense of the world. The notion of 'return back to the origin' is the topic on Rousson's mind and is evident through his artistic practice. Objects, such as a cow rug and wood panels that are used in artist's works are initially found items and instruments for an artist to improvise with and convert into art. Thus, the creative process opens new dimensions for the objects, and ultimately gives them new life.
Important factor in Rousson's artistic practice is the influence stemming from cultural elements. Rousson's fascination with Mexican visual culture is apparent in the stylistic representation of his exhibited works: bright rich colours, ghostly skull images as well as somewhat playful and 'cartoonish' and 'comic-like' drawing technique. Moreover, the artist's favoured music has served as a significant addition to the content of his work. Show is named after Nirvana's 'Very Ape', the song that has frequently played in artist's studio during his creative process. Another musical influence to the latest work of Rousson has been Serge Gainsbourg, whose song lyrics have significantly contributed to the sexual openness and rawness of the works, which again brings the audience back into the primitive world of unhidden desires .
However, besides various cultural, musical and personal life influences, Rousson's greatest source of inspiration stems from the brilliance of art itself-its renowned masters, movements or even specific works of art. In his works Rousson frequently reproduces styles and concepts that were practiced by his admired artists and plays with subjects present in their art. Ultimately, Rousson becomes not only an artist, music and literature enthusiast or 'ape of his art cave', but above all-the imitator of a genius creator. In his recent works, Rousson has indirectly referred to Watteau and Decamps and in his blue cave paintings. Audience can also recognize Courbet's stylistic approach. Moreover, as well as with Courbet himself, Rousson's fascination lays at the obscenity and provocation that art can create. Notion of death has often played on artist's mind and is apparent in his references to lives of Pollock and Hemingway. Among other great sources of inspiration to Rousson's exhibited works are 'Werewolf' by Lucas Cranach, techniques created by Goya, inclinations to fantasy world by Blake as well as imagery and visual effects by 'Der Blaue Reiter' group.
The Private View will be held on Thursday 27 January 18:30 ' 20:30 with a drum session by Paul Winter-Hart.
Anny Baranova© 2010