Painting for me is a continuous process of experimenting and self-awareness. I am fascinated by technical and ideological coincidences taking over and leading my work. I also allow various external factors to affect my works, be them opinions or commentaries, information available, or even the social and political hustle and bustle. This makes me a receiving antenna and my paintings — data projection. As a result, it turns into some kind of a roleplay, where accidents, opinions, and my control over the painting fight for the dominance.
For me, art is a sacral and highly meditative purification, which allows me to embody the internal tension and conflicts in my works. Creation, material, and the unknown result inspire me a lot. Just like an archaeologist who removes the dirt from a slightly visible ancient vase using a brush, without knowing that under the feet there is a whole ancient town. It is similar for me when I paint. I never know what I will find. Whether I will find and stop at an image, an object, a space or an abstraction.
The most recent of my work series was inspired by the Latvian history and traditions, where one of the symbols is the hope chest described in folklore and historical sources. Hope chest was used to collect and transfer the material and spiritual values when preparing a young girl for the marriage. I interpreted it as a metaphor for the condition of consciousness where everything is collected. And so I take things out of the chest one by one and look how they are manifested in my painting. There are times when some inner demon comes out, sometimes it is something pure and beautiful, and sometimes they are the collective dreams of my nation.
Klavs Loris’ latest exhibition “Internally Outside” conceptually continues the themes that the artist started to explore at the solo show “Queen Before Your Eyes” (2018, “Maksla XO” gallery) and further develops his artistic style as a painter, which is dominated by abstraction with its colour fields and rhythm compositions, brush strokes and different textures.
Already working on the previous solo show, ambiguous outlines of characters started to appear in Klavs Loris’ abstractions. In the latest works, with the already crystallized system of characters, the artist personifies various internal emotional and mental states, giving those shapes and bodies of creatures. Similar to the antique mythology or the pagan cultures, where a deity or a “story” was assigned to different feelings or internal states, Klavs Loris has also concluded that building a dialogue with a particular creature is easier than with an abstract “ego”.
While painting, the artist more and more often has begun to reflect what kind of forces influence him to create exactly what he creates. Are we all “guided” by a good character or an evil demon? How big of a role do we have in our own lives and deeds? How much influence do social norms and public pressure have on one’s activities and decisions? Are we just robots, who execute orders without realizing it? These contemplations have personified in various characters – the good and the ethical, as well as the “dark one”, the mystical, the shamanic.
These reflections about uncontrollable forces, which influence everybody’s personality, are the main thematic guideline of the exhibition. It is very introspective and personal, but at the same quite universal, because everyone has wondered about it at least once. The imaginary creatures that have found their relative shape on the canvas, for each of us can remind the features that only we know. (Jana Jakobsone / “Maksla XO” gallery)