Thomas Lerooy was born in 1981 and his contemporary art challenges and plays with the classical notion of the iconic.
We humans are fallible beings, aware of the briefness of mortal life even as we seek to quicken its pace with questionable choices. We are seduced by our own destruction and inevitably, even attempt to perfect it. How else would one explain the exquisite touch of a cigarette pressed against one’s lips, or the contents of a gigantic champagne bottle coursing through one’s hands?
Such is the concern of Thomas Lerooy, whose immaculately detailed drawings and sculptures betray an uncanny understanding of the weight of human life – a weight that is as insuperable in the face of vice as it is slyly comical in the face of mortality. Like renaissance depictions of saints and martyrs, Lerooy’s sculptures find themselves doomed to wear the consequences of their choices as lasting imagery, long past their finite existence. But Lerooy goes further: Suddenly, his subjects are no longer themselves, but become fragmented and dismembered, literal physicalizations of their shortcomings.
The references are bound to Western art, from ancient Roman as much as to that of the Renaissance, Classicism and Mannerism. However, even if Lerooy founds his artistic methods and subjects on the past, he is always concentrated on the present.
By using the formal elements and materials associated with high art, the artist conceptually disturbs the viewers’ expectations by fusing beauty and the grotesque. In Lerooy’s art life and death, diversity and unity, the iconic and the fragmentary are brought together, and his art is bound for reflection and meditation.
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