Full-time artist Olivié Keck grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, where, after receiving her BFA in Printmaking from The Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in 2011, she continues to live and works.
“For me, being an artist requires being part trashy detective and part street stylist,” Olivié muses. “I go looking for clues about a topic that interests me. Once I’ve got the clues, I add a few embellishments and put it together to make a salacious story.”
“I think my process has always been about creating moments that allude to the theatre of human experiences,” Olivié continues, "I like using a variety of materials to estrange people from the ‘commonplace’ narratives that my subjects portray, to keep you looking with delighted eyes. I like loud colours, juxtaposing ideas, jumbled associations and subverting expectations, and first prize would be to really entertain and bewilder my audience. There’s a ‘pleasure spiked with pain’ feeling about most of the work I make. This is a sensation I feel captures my experience of the world. Humans are never fully in one attitude; and I’d like to hope my work echoes both the severity and the humour in this sentiment.
“I find inspiration in all sorts of subjects,” Olivié says of the ideas behind her highly-executed illustrations executed in felt tips and bright colours. “Most of my recent inspiration comes from what might be considered ‘low brow’ sources. I’m interested in trawling through platforms where human behaviour is heightened or accentuated – social media platforms, digital platforms, and of course television in general is a big one. I also love discovering how people work, so sciences like neurology and psychology are also pretty hot topics for me.”
Olivié’s work stands resolutely in the present day, with past topics including selfies and clickbait. “In March-April of this year, I went on a two-month artist-in-residency program especially for printmakers at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium,” Olivié tells us when we ask about her recent work. “I produced a series of 10 monotypes entitled ‘The Lure’. The series explores the pseudo journalistic trend of *Clickbait. My aim has been to highlight the absurd visual and literary devices used in Clickbait. How platforms like Buzzfeed/Gawker/Upworthy are exploiting people’s inherent ‘lazy brain’ inclination and the psychology of the ‘curiosity gap’, making this kind of media so successful that it has become staggeringly prolific. The linguistic and visual queues used to address a startling array of topics from politics to celebrities and more, are quite formulaic in there numerousness and effective in their intended ‘baiting’ of viewer. Despite being able to recognize the obviously flawed content of these articles, clickbait continues to grow and it’s predatory tactics have recently been adopted by so-called ‘credible’ news platform (e.g. CNN , Fox News, The Guardian) in an attempt to increase popularity/gain revenue/higher ratings and attract advertisers . It’s both an unnerving, and a playful series of works. I will be exhibiting this work in October 2017.”
Until then, we’re content pursuing the drawings she’s made her her upcoming drawing show O.K. Computer. “This will be a collection of drawings I have been working on over the past year,” she explains. See the full collection below.
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