Erlend Steiner Lovisa (1970) paints still life portraits of females in his own stage-managed settings. The woman portrayed has a story to tell. Her face is obscured by her hair and it is left to our own imagination to seek the story hidden behind.
Erlend takes photos of his subjects and paints from these. He stage sets the scene with the subjects taken out of their everyday surroundings and placed on a beach or in a wood or a field or even on a wall.
By covering the subjects face Erlend forces the observer to guess at the story behind the scene. Why is she sitting there? What is she hiding? The woman is elusive, transient, enslaved, forcing us to want to unravel her secrets.
In the series, With heart and soul, the artist added for the first time a new element into his paintings: taxidermy, stuffed animals fixed on a piece of wood. The combination of the dead hear (the wigs) holding by the girls and the hair of the dead animals is more than symbolic. The women are cuddling death. Reality and fiction, life and death, beauty and the transient nature of everything – or is it just a metaphor for eternal life? It comes all very close together in these intriguing works.
In the latest series, also presented in this exhibition, Erlend Steiner Lovisa goes back to the essence of his subject : the girls without attributes, showing what they are hiding : their personality. Like a precious pearl in an oyster shell.