More about Luan Nel – the artist behind “Leviathan”
The work of Luan Nel (b. 1971), though in recent years characterised by masterful paintings of the natural world, in fact varies widely in medium and content. His practice is primarily idea-driven: The symbolic potential of his subjects in combination with ambiguous titles serve as a structure within which Nel conveys a message (or multiple messages), employing whichever medium – whether pastoral miniatures on found objects or large-scale sculptural installations – best carries the concept. With this expansive framework, Nel is free to explore themes of transience, identity, the significance of the everyday and the aesthetic – both on a personal level and on a wider, collective scale. His work has remained compelling for over two decades, earning him awards, international residencies and representation in numerous collections.https://www.instagram.com/50ty50typrints/
Nel’s current focus explores his online identity and experiences, and has included embracing the laptop-staple Microsoft Paint as medium. Using the programme’s low-fi, playful qualities, Nel translates his online experiences and conversations into preliminary paintings; editing, adding, dragging, painting and drawing on images of his existing artworks. Screen printing offered a perfect solution in creating a finished work from one such image; highlighting the crisp, flat quality of the digitised paint strokes layered over the painterly image. Leviathan is the result – the powerful title alluding to a myriad biblical, literary and metaphorical symbols.
Luan Nel’s latest solo exhibition DICTION has just opened at the Everard Read CIRCA Gallery in Cape Town. Be sure to pay a visit by the 23rd April to view his fascinating work.