LAURENTSIUS, exposed in Ultima Thule Gallery
Academic painting meets pop art in Laurentsius´s works, often characterized by a masterful play with camp and kitsch, displaying also a touch of cynicism and a certain darkness.
Laurentsius (Lauri Sillak; born 1969 in Kohtla-Järve) has been called a fetishistic aesthete when it comes to his art, as he approaches his subjects with extreme devotion. Laurentsius is fond of both church baroque as well as the 17th century Dutch school of painting.
In addition to extreme precision and focus on details, Laurentsius has always had a specific interest in frames. The work with massive, dominating frames embracing tiny, highly realistic oil paintings are one of the artist´s trademarks. In these works, the frame actually becomes more important than what´s inside.
The artist is interested in the relationship between beauty and ugliness, the changes in these concepts in different times and cultures; depicting a banal, overused motif in a way that is interesting for oneself and others. There are no living models used in the portrait series. Instead he uses their visual constructions to create the portraits. Laurentsius is also interested in the relationship between reality and illusion, static and dynamic, two-dimensional and three-dimensional. Besides all of this, all kinds of cultural meanings.
In addition to extreme precision and focus on details, Laurentsius has always had a specific interest in frames. The work with massive, dominating frames embracing tiny, highly realistic oil paintings are one of the artist’s trademarks. In these works the frame actually becomes more important than what’s inside.
Laurentsius has been actively taking part in exhibitions since 1993. In addition to many solo exhibitions, he has also participated in group exhibitions in Estonia, Poland, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, the USA and Denmark.
He has received a lot of recognition, among other things, in the year 1999 he received the “Annual Award of the Estonian Painters’ Union”, in the year 2011 the “Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment and in the year 2014 the “Kristjan Raud Award”.
Prizes: Kristjan Raud Art Prize (2014), Estonian Cultural Endowment Annual Award (2011), Konrad Mägi Prize (2009), Estonian Painters' Association's annual prize (1999), Vaal Gallery annual prize (1996)
Works in collections: The Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum (Estonia); Turku Art Museum (Finland)
"The Leaving of the Luigeratsur" 2015, exposed in Ultima Thule Gallery
The work “The leaving of the Luigeratsur” is a portrait of a young woman in a fictional poetic situation found and painted in a completely random magazine. Characteristic of Laurentius, a wide range of styles and brushwork on intentionally hashed substrate and in an industrial framework designed by the author. “The sudden sun on her face was captivating…”, Laurentsius.
“Dead Christ Said LOVE” 2012, exposed in Ultima Thule Gallery
“Dead Christ Said LOVE” is like an industrial modern version of a Russian icon - a realistic academic portrait on a tin background. In a graffiti bubble, the word LOVE seems to be crossed out and then written and crossed out again multiple times… (said, does not say, loves, does not love…). Wondering if he actually did rise up...