STRIKE OPPOSED Lhouette v Madonna
The post urban glamour artist, fresh from the reeling success of Emergency Credit returns with standout original work Strike Opposed, supported by a small boutique edition of just 20 pieces all hand made and finished with individual hand aerosol work. Already of limited availability, Wyecliffe Galleries explores just why the heady mix of raw artistic talent and iconic pop culture has won collectors from Antonio Banderas to Ronan Keating.
Strike Opposed. The title of the new boutique edition from revolutionary artist Lhouette is one of those deliciously punchy phrases that even without the anticipation of the art piece it signals, it is without doubt that the image is going to be on the attack. A storming assault on the senses, the reigning queen mother of pop Madonna is dressed in the iconography of our times. In a police line-up of just one, Madonna is the one and only suspect, compact yet fierce contained within 5ft 3 inches of sheer legend. Bold as brass, she eyes us, brows groomed and lips crimson. The contours of her décolletage are decorated with swirling flares bracing against the siege of brands. Rib cage exposed showing her core, her icon is made from reinvention.
The Material Girl is a sublime choice of subject for Lhouette, a creative whose artistic foundation has been forged on the flawless blend of raw plywood’s, perspex and pallets in conjunction with refined motif, symbol and brand. The print original mixed media work of Strike Opposed stands at a towering 2 meters tall, encased in a luscious quadruple tier frame. The artists illustrious residency at 45 Park Lane with The Dorchester Collection saw Lhouette take personal charge of the hand painted frame rims debuted there in sell out pieces Bulletproof, Mad Bomband Stranger. Utilising the borders of the artworks to elevate the whole impact of every piece, the rainbow toned stripes empower Lhouette to hold your gaze when merged with aerosol forged fine art. The original work of Strike Opposed takes this concept further, neat lines are contrasted against an ornate hand-swept gilded frame more typically used to house famous works of the 17th century. Yet, a modern masterpiece Strike Opposed most certainly is.
Ripped and man-handled, the accompanying boutique edition of Strike Opposed follows on from extraordinary success Emergency Credit, whose launch only served to cause salivation for more. A departure from the original, here Madonna is streamlined into a classy signature slim black frame, the heavy collaged paper encrusted with diamond dust and sealed behind specialist glass. From a series of just 20 editions, each one is unique with a flash of spray paint across Homer Simpsons pudgy donut wielding hand. Using symbology from previous series, collectors will recognise Officer Dibble from the compact Sterling original works as well as fashion couture brands Dior and Chanel which have each become intrinsic to Lhouette’s visual language.
The contrast between low-fi medium and the high-risk glamour of celebrity has fascinated the artist from the outset; it would be a mistake to assume that Lhouette dwells on transient trends but instead picks those whose cultural currency is assured, timeless. Though Madonna has re-invented herself from virgin to vogue, from all American cowgirl to English country resident, her enduring power of influence is extraordinary and intoxicating. A parallel approach, Lhouette refreshes themes to introduce his concepts anew; presenting fabric sealed in gloss resin, plywood coated in gold leaf, wooden pallets bolted with perspex and pop sculptures shaped in female motifs. The language may change, but the sentence stays the same – rhythmic and confident in beat with modern society, “…..power…status…currency….”. A new subversion is hinted at within Strike Opposed, a subtle nod to the complex nature of crime.
Strike Opposed is all but at sell out status just weeks following launch, assuring its position as a benchmark art piece to be coveted for years to come. The last 12 months has set the tone of what 2018 will bring; Lhouette is Beyond.