I was greatly looking forward to seeing new work by Belgian artist Roa this week and his show at Pure Evil gallery did not disappoint. I love his use of found objects in these pieces – something that he began developing at his last show at Galerie Iterance in Paris.
Roa is one of the artists I have featured in my new book Street Sketchbook Journeys due out this September. The book design and text was completed last year but the production time always takes a while until we have a finished book. I really enjoyed writing about Roa’s work for the book and it was a pleasure to devote a large chapter to his sketches and finished work.
I don’t want to wear out the book before its published but here is a snippet of the chapter text…
“For Roa animals represent so many things; some animals are honored or execrated by cultural meanings, some are metaphorical for sin or for hope, humans consider some as dirt, others as beautiful. “It’s an open theme,” he explains “you can make your own story with them. I was more attracted by the everyday animals that live next to us; like these little rodents, domesticated rabbits, bred pigs, cows. They are integrated in our western culture in many ways, but it feels estranged when you see them painted on the street. To show them totally out of proportion or out of real life scale it gives them something surreal, sometimes a bit dubious too… I really like the ambiguity of images and of implicit meanings, and I can’t deny I am fascinated by the circle of life, sometimes in a peaceful morbid manner.”