In the Cave We Dance
Experimentation has proven to be the only path for Joseph Loughborough’s artistic research, while he created his most recent, outstanding series by fusing expressive and meticulous techniques. Building his iconography upon philosophical grounds, he referenced some of the greatest masters of the turn of the preceding century, as the irony and social criticism ooze from the layers of imprinted visual and abstract values. The second solo exhibition of Joseph Loughborough is to open at Anno Domini Gallery in California, showcasing new pieces emerged in the artist’s Berlin studio over the course of last year.
Joseph Loughborough was born in 1981. He grew up in the southern UK city of Portsmouth, where he also graduated from Portsmouth University. His key interests were always art and philosophy as well as skateboarding culture. He lived in London and Paris, and currently resides and works in Berlin, the former center of the Decadent Movement.
Allegory of the Cave
Delving deep into the symbolism of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Joseph Loughborough discovered the ideal conceptual source for his investigative series of work. Iconography represented is largely inspired by the parable, depicting human forms as undefined shadows, flickering volumes that move between the light and the dark. Pregnant with meaning, Loughborough’s shadows contain both direct and evocative allusions to Plato’s shadows, as the carriers of subjective perception of reality. Executed expressively, with the mark making technique, implying gesture, these bodies are composed of light and dark contrasts, continuously emulating movement. They appear in groups or alone, simulating communities or innate solitude, radiating passion, agony and drama with their unrestrained motions, dancing in the Cave of Restricted Grasp.
Symbolism, Expressionism and Philosophy
Visual parallels with the decadence of Weimar Republic Berlin therefore seem only natural, since the artist plays with the inherent Dionysian nature of humankind. We see the glamour and the darkness of the cabaret, and read the secrets within the shadow, possible and probable truths, hidden from the plain sight. Enhancing the mystery of his works, Loughborough builds his style on the heritage bequeathed by Gustav Klimt and his disciple Egon Schiele, both Austrian art masters of Secession or the very early Expressionism. The Vienna series is an unequivocal reference to the period, as the wavering faces bring Klimt’s Pallas Athene back to life.
Gold VS Charcoal
Held together by skillful compositions, while tending to burst torn away by inner conflict, In the Cave We Dance series of work shifts from the expressive marks to the neat gold leaf plating, over flattened geometry. The two historical techniques are employed in an innovative manner, whereas one both rejects and highlights the other, creating a very unique, contrasting effect. Nuances of grayscale complement gold, but the textures and the historical respectability of them is hardly equal. Gold was always reserved for the works of highest importance and opulence, and charcoal was used for sketching, a humble trace-maker available to anyone. By using these two mediums together in depicting original idea-bearing iconographical solutions with overt, but completely justified references, Joseph Loughborough makes the perfect example of postmodern eclecticism in contemporary art, which has a strong, timeless thread at core. We Dance in the Cave of life across these images, contained in every archetype, waiting for someone to release of our golden shackles.
This exceptionally aesthetized series will be displayed at an exhibition at Anno Domini gallery in California, opening on October 3 and running through November 15, 2014, after the Zero Cents exhibition Human Race.