In Conversation with Loui Jover

loui jover

By Michael Cunningham.

Loui Jover is a talented Australian artist with an impressive body of work, due in part to his personal compulsion to draw something new everyday. His unique art style consists of flowing ink caricatures on glued together pages from vintage books; an aesthetic he likes because of its “fragility… as if the wind may blow them away at any moment.” He also believes that the “hand drawn stark black lines, against the intricate printed words of the book pages offer a strange fusion and depth.” We got together with Loui – a very friendly and likeable guy – to discuss everything from exotic inks to time travel. We talked about his art too, of course, but I think his drawings speak for themselves.

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PRISM: It would appear your favourite medium is ink on paper. How did you get into using these materials, and why do you prefer them over others?

Ink on paper is indeed my favourite medium, I have chosen this media over others because of its versatility and quality, and for the significance that ink has as a foundation medium of visual art itself – particularly drawing, which is my chosen form of artistic expression.

The front cover of our first issue features a Melbourne artist with squid ink poured over her body. Have you ever thought to use squid ink to create an art piece?

Squid ink sounds great. I am not sure of its properties though… Would it smell? Does it keep its pigment or fade quickly? I have used things like merlot and walnut ink in my drawings before, but nothing as far out as squid ink. I think it would be cool, and apparently it has some sex appeal right now… as far as your cover is concerned!

Well, apparently a bunch of scientists took an ink sac from a 150 million year old squid fossil, mixed it with an ammonia solution, and used it to draw a picture of the squid! The picture looks pretty good, considering how old the ink was, and that it was drawn by scientists.

Haha, I guess you would get a few scientists about who are perhaps also repressed artists. It sounds great, I like the use of media that is different and interesting, as long as it’s not too gimmicky. I think squid ink would be great to use.

In most of your artworks, you use pages from books to form a canvas. Is there something particular about using recycled paper that appeals to you?

At first I glued book pages together because that was all I had, and I couldn’t afford to buy paper. At that time I was using found cardboard sheets, brown wrapping paper and other things to draw on, but the book pages just looked good to go once glued together. Also, the use of recycled paper really appeals to me on a number of levels; I much prefer marked, foxed and stained papers to white, virginal sheets of stock.

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Louis Wain – Schizophrenic Cats

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By Michael Cunningham.

Louis Wain was an English artist known for drawing cats, going crazy, and then drawing more cats. Later in his life he developed schizophrenia and psychologists believe that his descent into madness can be clearly seen in his cat drawings.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterised by a total disintegration of nearly every aspect of human psychology, including thought, perception, behaviour, language, emotion and communication. These disturbances usually manifest in visual/auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, disorganised speech and complete social dysfunction – in other words, schizophrenia is the deep end in the pool of mental disorders.

Let’s take a journey through Wain’s psychological breakdown through the following pencil and oil on canvas portraits of cats below.
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Ben Heine – Illustrated Reality

By David Robertson.

Here are some amazing photos fused with drawings by artist Ben Heine; you can see more of his ‘pencil vs camera’ collection here, and his whole body of work at his flicker page.4552048789_acbcf67f26_o

Pencil Vs Camera is but one of his many projects. Legend has it that he got inspired to get into this unique style of composition through a mundane event: watching TV and writing a letter at the same time. When he finished, he noticed the transparency of the letter by seeing the blur of the TV glowing through the sheet.

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Neurons must’ve fired in every direction as the idea erupted in his brain: “I can show two actions in one image.” And with that thought, Pencil Vs Camera was born.

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Enjoy!

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Artist on LSD

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Back in the 50’s the US Government did lots of testing on LSD before criminalising it. Most of these experiments gravitated towards brainwashing and interrogation purposes, but innocently enough, one of them involved analysing an artist’s creative process whilst under the influence of the mind altering drug. The lucky artist was given two healthy doses of primo acid and complete access to an activity box full of crayons and pencils. The results are predictably weird.

P.S Do try this at home, it’s seriously a lot of fun

 

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