4me4you visits Unit London Gallery which showcased the artist Oh de Laval
The act of painting is able to produce infinite potential scenarios. For Laval, painting is a space of pure imagination where anything can happen at any moment. With this in mind, the artist resists the intellectualisation or politicisation of her works, choosing instead to let joy and excitement govern her painted world. Laval’s paintings do not fit into the mould of any particular movement, style or narrative. They elude the boundaries of specific meanings, but they can be linked together by their singular sense of humour and their reoccurring motifs.
Through her paintings Laval aims to convey an unparalleled sense of excitement. Often this excitement is communicated through sex, violence or both. The slower the kiss the faster the heartbeat demonstrates this dual feeling of excitement. Laval’s characteristic sense of humour comes into play as two scenes seemingly unfold as one in this painting. We see a romantic champagne picnic as a man and woman embrace one another atop a vibrantly green cliffside beneath a powder blue sky. After closer study, we notice the glint of a blood-stained dagger in the man’s possession and that the woman he holds dangles over a precipice while a shark waits eagerly, jaws open, in the thrashing waves below.
The violent elements within Laval’s paintings engage with and enliven our repressed feelings; the artist paints the way that many of us would like to express ourselves when we are angry, but we cannot. The world within Laval’s works is not restricted by rules or by social convention. Her paintings therefore push boundaries, displaying what we would not normally do but what we perhaps want to deep down. In essence, with Wild Things Happen in Stillness, Oh de Laval reminds us that art can exist purely to excite us for our pleasure and our entertainment.