Levi van Veluw

Sometimes it is possible to omit an artist from research purely because they are someone so obvious you forget them entirely. As Levi van Veluw is a photographer I commonly refer to, I wonder why it has taken me so long to make the connection between his work and my own.

Levi van Veluw was born in the Dutch town of Hoevelaken in 1985 and studied at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem.

Since graduating in 2007, Levi van Veluw has produced multi-disciplinary works that includes photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and drawings. This varied body of work has been showcased in many different locations across Europe and the United States, earning him a number of nominations and awards. 



I went out two days ago to buy some makeup pencils as I wanted to draw, rather than paint on a model (perhaps myself). This linked so closely to van Veluw’s work although I am not sure how I feel about the idea of the marks being a little more permanent. This makes me feel uncomfortable because, in my years of experience trying to wash the notes off the back of my hand, there is a fairly consistent ‘staining’ which is inevitable. This would be really interesting to explore over a few days when I know that I don’t have to be too ‘public’. The idea of using materials that stain and fade emerged when I bought a ‘tattoo pen’ which I thought was essentially for children to use to decorate their skin or use at parties etc for more delicate face painting. It stained quite badly though and I was surprised at this. I will reinvestigate the world of tattoo pens and consider more lengthy staining/design work. I am already the owner of a couple of tattoos and will definitely consider designing a new work directly onto my body. This has nothing of the ‘rebellious strength’ of the original works, created in another era. But it is the obvious final destination of a project about decorating the skin. Permanence is not important in my current works. Transience and variety is: but ultimately marking periods of time is also an interesting use of the contemporary tattoo, which fascinates me. I quite like the idea of doing the drawing in public. For example, taking a train ride or drinking tea in a café whilst drawing onto my own skin could be really interesting! I wonder how people would react if I was drawing on my son, who is always a willing model. This might appear more ‘shocking’ and controversial. Perhaps, as we did when he was about 4 years old with face paints, we draw on each other. That would be fun! Something makes me think we might be accused of setting a bad example.



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