‘Are you in?’, a handmade painting by Lawrence Kwakye consisting of Oil on Jute, Cotton.
This is a painting about a sleeping man. You can still see the little boy he once was. This painting is one of a kind and part of a small series ‘Innocence and Trust’. The materials that were used for this work are parts of old rugs combined with cotton.
The painting has no frame and is specially designed as a tapestry. Everyone knows the old French Gobelins from the 17th century; large tapestries with images based on weaving patterns mounted on cardboard, often designed by famous artists. Samples of art and craft, and this figures this painting too, the Power of Raw Material. Kwakye is inspired by the Gobelins but at the same time creates totally new art works by using self-developed techniques and earthy tones. He uses the actual image, the painting, as a background and draws the ‘loom’ forward. Through his use of materials, you get a sense of looking through the back of the tapestry with an authentic layered effect. Powerful and exclusive, only one of has been made.
Series: Innocence and Trust
Signature: Lawrence Kwakye (1972, Utrecht) painted his first painting when he was thirteen and with it, unknowingly opened the door to his artistic career. The famous writer and illustrator Tomi Ungerer called him an ‘undeniable talent’ at the time and compared him to the main character in Albert Camus’ novel ‘The Stranger’. As the son of a Ghanaian father and Hungarian mother, raised in the Netherlands, he was constantly exposed to surprises and changes in life and as such automatically developed a ‘contrasting’ view of the world, essential for the magical layering in his later work. Nothing is what you think it is. After secondary school, Lawrence completed his study ‘Man and Leisure time’ at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, where Lidewij Edelkoort was a guiding force. Unmistakable heritage from that time is the functional and conceptual impact of the many paintings he continued to create alongside his job as designer. Until 2010 when he changed course, established himself as an independent artist and his artistic career gained momentum. Kwakye’s cultural diversity, his sense of aesthetics, his technical innovative drive and his fascination for transition, or in other words the process of change are clearly reflected in his current work. The result is accessible, the viewer picks it up straight away, but then seduces him into a discussion about what you actually see; it is what it is. Harmony versus disharmony. Kwakye’s visual work keeps on communicating.