Vincent Leow

LPS- UP Got Mountains and Trees, 2010
Water Colour, 97.5 x 69.5 cm

USD 3,300

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About the artwork

In 2010, Leow began a series of works that were less “in-your-face”, more subdued and quieter in spirit. Blacked-out portraits that seem to retreat from the creation of another identity (like his other series) tothe erasing of it – a stripping away of representation. All that is left are traces of the person through their hands. Sometimes Contrasted against the colourful backgrounds, these portraits hark back to the classical painting tradition of portraits of the elite, but are also inspired by the momento mori (remember you will die ) genre of classical paintings that remind mankind of mortality, and the futility of vanities. In Vincent’s case, he inverts the very nature of portraiture painting to question that very vanity – how do you still show representation without showing it. “The idea of black is not just about death,but it is also of one’s identity being anonymous, yet catching glimpses of a person. What do we look for or how do we judge something, if it is all blacked out?” (Interview with Vincent Leow, 2009)

About the artist

Vincent Leow (b. 1961) is one of Singapore's leading contemporary artists. Celebrated as a l'enfant terrible of the Singapore art community, Vincent Leow is a pivotal figure in the alternative art scene in Singapore. His practice parallels the development of contemporary art in Singapore and as a painter, he is regarded as a remarkable creative who has dipped into an astonishing range of influences from popular culture, literature, cinema, politics and the mass media. Leow stands as a central figure in the history of the ‘art collective' in Singapore. One of the early members of The Artists Village (TAV), founded in 1988 by the iconic Tang Dawu (b 1943), Leow subsequently helmed other artist-run spaces. Engaging with a range of media that has resulted in performances, installations, sculptures, digital and mixed-media works, Leow's practice has maintained an element of anarchy and rebellion so critical to alternative practices. He acquired public notoriety with his 1992 performance in which he drank his own urine. The characteristics of Leow's  art include a taste for kitsch and a constant, highly individual visual vocabulary - prompting art writers to describe his practice as epitomizing ‘post-modern' visual strategies.

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