Lhouette: Back from Beyond
Emerging from a 6-month sabbatical, fresh and full of zest, Lhouette is back. Following propulsion into the international sphere staged by The Dorchester Collection with 45 Park Lane, Mayfair and numerous appearances on BBC radio and Channel 4 promoting both show and art, Lhouette did the unthinkable and disappeared. Social media was silenced, all work stopped. A period of many months took place from his last Instagram post in February to his surprise return. Naturally the reality wasn’t a period of zen-like calm but frenetic planning behind the scenes; a bigger new studio was constructed, purpose-renovated to better serve the ambition of his developing ideas. White walls and high rafters are the setting for a detonation of both raw and opulent materials. Reclaimed woods in angel silhouettes balance against metal cabinets stacked with meticulously filed colour canisters.
Lhouette's New Collection
Rumours swirled about how long collectors needed to wait before they received the next instalment of post urban glamour. On September 15th a single unfiltered image released on social media went viral. The artist introduced his first three-part wall sculpture Tokyo Dreaming, the incredible figurehead work to his new collection Beyond ready to be installed by Wyecliffe Galleries at Decorex International that week. Steeped in his distinctive visual vocabulary and sealed in gloss resin, Lhouette’s bold iconography took a more mature, more charged flavour. Referencing the artist’s travels to the Far East, the symbolic geisha joins his cast of powerful female silhouettes such as Angel Cake and Little Miss Sunshine.
The temptation in the wave of success to over produce and feed demand is overwhelming for many artists, making Lhouette’s hiatus all the more extraordinary. The resolution of commitment to the art first marks him out in the most valuable way possible. Reminiscent of a quotation from cultural commentator Sarah Thornton, this notion deftly sums up Lhouette’s authentic appeal: “The chief currency of the art world is not dollars, pounds, Swiss francs of Chinese yuan. It is an exclusive and often contested value – credibility”. This inherent consciousness of quality and content has pushed the artist to deliver hand produced boutique editions rewarding collectors for months of patience. This week will see the outstanding evolution that has taken place in the time since previous acclaimed editions Stranger and Mad Bomb were released.
Emergency Credit: the Boutique Edition by Lhouette
Highly anticipated boutique edition Emergency Credit will surely bring new momentum, compressing the already short time between launch and sell out status. Almost as involved as an original work in its own right, the piece is a testament to the time lavished on every detail coupled with the talent of an artist whose skill is immeasurable from years of experimentation. Layered and torn, the decoupage paper is pulled apart and reconstructed anew with rip lines accentuating and highlighting pattern and texture. Re-stencilling and spraying several emblems on each of the 25 works, the Jeff Koons style red heart is further enhanced with a scattering of raw diamond dust contrasting with the sleek sheen of the varnished paper. Returning to unglazed un-resined editions in a manner last seen in the Paste-Up Collection, the tactile nature of Emergency Credit is evocative of worn billboards. Lhouette has long referenced the world of advertising; here it is presented encased in a distressed 24ct gold leaf tray setting with signature hand painted striped frames packing a punch to the finished aesthetic.
With the goal of bringing the materials and process to life even further, the artist engaged Wyecliffe Galleries to capture the intricate making of Emergency Credit over several filming sessions. Witnessing the determined purpose to hand make each edition from scratch, our video team captured every angle of the substantial and painstaking creation.Collapsing the typical boundary between artist and collector, Lhouette shares his desire for material to ever be the foundation of his self-made genre. Not content with merely signing his work, Lhouette’s fingerprints are all over every piece, from torn compositional reconstruction to aerosol painted rims.
The intense play between lo-fi art, raw material, and extravagant detailing has captivated a dozen high profile collectors including Antonio Banderas and Ronan Keating, where Lhouette’s work is now on display in their private homes. Pushing himself forward, collectors are compelled by this fascinating, challenging artist, whose voice and ambition is only growing louder and bolder – join Wyecliffe Galleries and follow Lhouette into the Beyond.