Often we find ourselves in two positions simultaneously: on solitary benders but flooded by compatriots or adversaries, immersed in multitudes but unable to comprehend acquaintances from opponents. In these secluded journeys into the wild, when we stumble across a stream rippling across our path, the temptation is to dip a hand into moving water, to feel the activity of fluid matter flowing by. These streams of activity—a pervasive attraction so easily succumbed to—have accumulated into powerful rivers that threaten to drag us in, directing us beyond control, submerging us in perilous tides and circular eddies.
To guard against the allure of this seduction, hold on to your wiles and your faith. Not faith in superstition, per se, but faith in dialogue, in communication. There is beauty in the sharing of subjectivity across time and medium—a beauty which may even take us to unexpected terrain on the opposite riverbank. Flickering moments of nostalgia, the attraction of novelty, and the beguiling charm of buried aesthetics give body to ideas that insist on resuscitation. Thus, liberty is discussed as an assertion of power. Zoomorphic apparitions illustrate the seductive appeal of authority. Aberrant notions of men beyond the limits of knowledge coincide with the metaphysics of double-entry bookkeeping, the conviction of consumption.
Then why do the animals have guns? A figure too similar to ourselves may inspire both fear and capitulation, but a beast with fur mimicking our ways may draw out derision, charm and a perverse appeal. That which some of us fear may in turn lure in our fellow siblings, a juncture separating us from one another that holds fruitful content to explore and question.
The Infamous Crush is a reconfiguration of the storied phrase coined by Voltaire. Where “Crush the infamous!” was written to decry superstition and intolerance, the jumbled counterpart from which the title is derived alludes to the crush of the multitudes, the throngs of us who empower those who aspire to infamy.
Sven Loven, Liberty, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 96 x 48 x 5.75 in
Sven Loven, Purple Thread (Activated), 2016. Acrylic on wood panel. 72 x 48 x 5.63 in
Sven Loven, Purple Thread (Ashanti), 2016. Acrylic on wood panel. 72 x 48 x 5.63 in
Sven Loven, Purple Thread (Thugga), 2016. Acrylic on wood panel. 72 x 48 x 5.63 in
Sven Loven, Augury, 2017. Acrylic on canvas. 28 x 23 x 5 in
Sven Loven, Some people like to watch, 2017. Acrylic on canvas. 31 x 37 x 4 in
‘The Infamous Crush’
by Sven Loven at Magenta Plains, New York
March 24–April 23 2017