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The vibrancy of colour

Olivié Keck’s vibrant artworks are as appealing to the eye as they are thought-provoking. Her most recent exhibition, Drop Dead Gorgeous, was accompanied by the Virtual Reality experience Ophelia Forever. We spoke to Keck to find out a bit more about her art, which you will find at the Creative Feel stand at RMB Turbine Art Fair.

Olivié Keck Drop Dead Gorgeous Ophelia RMB Turbine Art Fair TAF
Olivié Keck, Cake or Death, 2019. Posca/Enamel on Hardwood. 69 x 45.5cm

Since graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2011, Olivié Keck has explored a range of artistic media, from printmaking and painting to ceramics and virtual reality. ‘Part of being creative for me is always having the option to explore other mediums,’ says Keck. ‘Exploring new mediums is not an act of restlessness, but rather an attempt at allowing the idea to dictate the medium not the other way around.’
     Keck finds inspiration for her artistic ideas from the world around her. ‘Because we live in an age where we’re constantly absorbing information, and we’re constantly being exposed to ideas, inspiration comes from all over the place. I’m interested in popular culture trends and how interesting behavioural patterns develop out of the ways people use social media. It’s really just quite unashamedly what interests me at the time. In a way, the ideas come quite randomly and they’re quite simple and then I research and explore a bit more, and then I bring that into my work. It’s an opportunity to investigate an idea and hopefully to also get people to be interested in it as well if they weren’t already. Pique people’s interests.’

Olivié Keck Drop Dead Gorgeous Ophelia RMB Turbine Art Fair TAF
Olivié Keck, Die Young, Live Forever, 2019. Posca/Enamel on Hardwood. 38 x 30cm

     Keck’s most recent exhibition, Drop Dead Gorgeous, at Everard Read’s CIRCA Gallery in Johannesburg, saw her create vibrant story works that toe the line between drawing and painting through her use of Posca Paint pens. In these works, Keck explores society’s obsession with ‘crimes of passion’ as entertainment, treating each work like a staged crime scene complete with all the makings of a grand cinematic moment. The lifeless subjects are adorned with rich, colourful garments in luxurious surroundings, all aesthetic embellishments intended to distract from the tragic deathly circumstance. The works embody a playful parody rooted in a more serious questioning of our cultural obsession with depictions of violence and the romanticism of crime as entertainment.
     The artwork Die Young, Live Forever, which is featured on our cover this July, ‘looks at how society glamorises types of crime and the idea of the “27 Club” (celebrities who have died at 27) and how there’s a kind of romanticism or fetichism around that. Obviously, when people die young it seems more tragic, and almost more noteworthy, particularly if it was someone notable who had a tragic death. So it was this idea of, if we live in a society where we want to be seen and we want to be noticed and if you have this salacious death, you live forever in the memory of that. You immortalise yourself in death. It was a tongue-in-cheek take on that idea.’
     So, is your interest piqued? Creative Feel will be showing Ophelia Forever and some pieces from Drop Dead Gorgeous at our stand at RMB Turbine Art Fair from 12 to 14 July 2019, so come and explore another reality!

To continue reading our full cover story, purchase the July 2019 issue of Creative Feel or, to continue supporting our role in the South African arts and culture sector, subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year. SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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