Aliens : Guy Allott — Woodcuts
Aliens : Guy Allott
Past: June 6 → July 5, 2014
Following on from Allott’s extremely popular series of robots, the London based artist now brings a series of extra-terrestrials to Paris. Curious and intriguing images of Aliens that have Allott’s trademark pathos and charisma.
On the surface, these portraits seem like curious representations of imagined creatures which have arrived on earth, lost and confused by their surroundings. They rely on breathing apparatus and space helmets which take the form of bell-jars or presentation cases, that make them not only safe from our atmosphere but also invite us to look in on them as specimens, sculptures or curios to be peered at and examined.
Each figure is seen in a dramatic landscape which seems both earthly and extra-planetary. The environments echo the hills and mountains and seascapes so commonly seen in romanticist paintings, which provide the figures and the viewer, room for thought and a connection with nature.
The entire series is created using Allott’s complicated woodblock printing technique where he takes a wooden block and cuts into it and then prints again and again, each time returning to the same block, cutting increasingly detailed elements building up layers of ink, refining the image with greater and greater precision. Eventually as each facet of the figure and its surroundings starts to take shape, the artist adds some of the finer details by hand, picking out areas that deserve particular focus.
Although in theory, these works are editioned prints produced in a very small quantity, every work is actually completely unique. The variation of colour, tone and mood shifts dramatically from image to image, every version of these prints gives us something of the distinct personality of these characters. With this variation Allott explores the characters thoughts and feelings which serve as a beautiful metaphor for humanity. Lost, confused, optimistic and reflective, the aliens portrayed here could be seen as our undiscovered evolutionary rivals, possibly part nemesis, part companion or perhaps they are, in fact, portraits of us.
Opening Thursday, June 5, 2014 7 PM → 10 PM