Kevin Lewis Fougerousse: Memoirs
Through March 29, 2011
Kevin Lewis Fougerousse’s new series, Memoirs, is an intimate look at the artist’s thoughts on life, spirituality, love and loss. We are given a rare look inside the heart of poet that stripped down and bared his soul for all of us to witness.
After leaving his rock star life and modeling career in California, he traveled to his abandoned childhood home for a year.
Isolated, with only a box of painting supplies and a case of booze to comfort him, Fougerousse began to paint his heart out.
The product of this self imposed isolation is a group of figurative paintings that really affected me in a significant way. I was drawn to the figurative subject matter, and the painter kept me close to the work with scribbled words, snippets of poems , and the unmistakable evidence of a painted broken heart.
Fougerousse puts the conflicting functions of portraiture and death on frank display. Portraiture momentarily captures a mysterious whole, freezing a life, a face in time. When coupled with indications of death with skulls and painted dark surfaces, the impermanent and the eternal are held in uneasy tension.
The self portrait, It Is Written, features a chiseled male torso and a skull for a head. He is holding a monocle in one hand and the book of life in the other.
His strong faith in God is represented by the eagle atop a bookcase as well as other objects found within the painting. Below the bookcase are scribbled writings in yellow oil paint stating, “and the promise she bound in chains, the dance we’d share when it rains”, from a poem he wrote about an on-again-off-again relationship he was trying to overcome. A lady love whom he shared his life with for nine years.
As you spend time with the art, it’s very intensity consumes your attention, forcing you to witness his confessional.
The painting, Village Idiot, portrays Fougerousse on his birthday, naked and alone. He has the mask of clown, and large clumsy hands that are holding a lit cigarette. The face is almost ghostly and crossed over; not a happy sort of clown face. An unfinished bottle of wine with a scroll carefully placed inside that is another reference to spirituality and belief in God.
The name of the painting references a bar where he met another lady love. You feel his sense of give up and surrender, in his hunched over pose as he is looking back with at you with “only you” written in his eye.
One of my favorite pieces was not featured in the main lobby of Aloft due to the nude subject matter. You had to go to a room off the side hallway where a sign, “PLEASE BE ADVISED, Some material beyond this point may be for mature audiences only”, invited me to come inside.
Torrent is a 50×50 stunning oil painting of a beautiful woman who is only wearing her panties on a black background with white line drawings on one side and a lady killer on the other. The woman is holding a cigarette in one hand and her other hand tucked inside the hip of her panty. Fougerousse’s light strokes in her silhouette set a passionate tone. The dark colors and detached look on her face illustrate a sense of danger that is waiting to be indulged.
I sat down with artist representative Jordan Roth from Ro2 Art to talk about Fougerousse’s work. Jordan was raised around figurative art and in discussing Fougerousse’s work he commented, “I had gotten so accustomed to abstract art lately that it feels good to be around the figurative work again. We haven’t really worked with too many artists that are painting bodies and things so it feels very comfortable, that is for sure.”
Ro2 Art is a full-service consultancy with a portfolio of arts management services, including artist representation, sales, marketing, consultation, curatorial, and events management. Ro2 Art knows how to throw an opening that has just the right amount of art, music, people and art buying collectors.
This series by Kevin Lewis Fougerousse is poetic, compelling and present. The show is up until March 29, 2011, at Aloft, 1033 Young St., Dallas, Texas.