Jan Kaps, Cologne, B19
Sven Loven translates today’s diffusion of information and ideology, via different modes of communication, into expressions of enticing discordance. A visual language of symbols and invested gesture is used to resolve conflicting content spanning personal, political and philosophical spheres. The tangibly esoteric and sublimely mundane combine in pursuit of an acerbic euphoria of complexity.
In great masses and frenzied mobs one can discern actions which are undetermined by a single mind. What force is behind the current conflict of ideas? The work on display seeks to embody this struggle in pictorial terms, using historical and contemporary images spanning temporal and geographic boundaries. Riffing on the rudimentary cartoons of a young Friedrich Engels, the phantasmagoric hallucinations of Kuniyoshi, avatars from digital fighting games and the esoterica of Japanese ASCII art, Loven seeks a synthesis of culture clash and reverberating discourse. If ideas have the power to alter the course of history, can aesthetics also aspire to such goals?
Sven Loven was born in Stockholm to American and Swedish parents and was raised in Manhattan. After graduating from the Cooper Union in the early 2000s, Loven alternated between peripatetic travel in Japan and immersion in the worlds of digital music, manual labor and painting. Recent shows include "Steven" at Christian Andersen gallery in Copenhagen and "The Infamous Crush" at Magenta Plains in New York, both of which affirmed a faith in the primacy of meaningful gesture.