Oct 20, 2011

PROFILE | Tessar Lo

Untitled, unknown materials, 2011
Tessar Lo’s work is arranged in an interesting manner on her website.  The usual links to an archive of her work, along with another separate page dedicated to a brief preview and description of her gallery showings, is present.  There is a link which reads “say hullo,” which upon clicking brings up a link to her email address.  A mysterious word appears on the navigation, “ephemera,” which then brings up the sub-links “still” and “moving.”  These are links to photos and videos from her personal life and surroundings.  Her videos are the most interesting of these two links, some animations, some comical peeks into her life, including a 30-second video in which she wears large sunglasses and hoots similar to an owl directly into the camera.  This whimsical and somewhat confusing layout and content is matched by the content and construction of her art.

The green-skinned girl in Untitled shares a lot in appearance with the artist; long, black hair, and slender build.  But the green skin and application of yellow to the cheeks and chin give her a whimsical and, at the same time, ethereal presence, especially given her size.  The girl takes up much of her frame, and the black area between her arms seems to almost be another extension of her.  Perhaps she is allowing the boy (or young man, it is hard to tell) a glimpse into what lies beyond his realm of knowledge?  Or it could even express an inner loneliness, which comes from dredged-up memories of better days under dark night skies with charming boys… there is no title to this work, which leaves one to be left wondering… and perhaps that is the point all along.

Leaving, Unknown materials, 2011
A painting which may be easier to understand from the point of a viewer is Lo’s work Leaving.  In this painting, a boy is depicted rising from the buildings, towering over his supposed hometown as he holds a suitcase, presumably to leave.  His size, far bigger than this town arranged in a pond-like shape and red-roofed buildings fading into a soft turquoise blue, could attribute to the idea that the boy feels he is a “big fish in a small pond,” and he is leaving in search of far better things.  Or perhaps he is looking for something he has lost, or something that will complete him; his suitcase is vaguely shaped like the body of an elephant, and on the far right there is a shape that appears to be an elephant’s tiny head.  And yet it is big enough for the suitcase.  There are many questions left unanswered, but again, perhaps we are meant to take these clues and draw our own conclusions…

The charming, childlike details and aesthetics of Lo’s paintings and drawings, along with the strange subject matter, while pleasing to the eye, allow for enough depth to make the art from being completely na├»ve.  It is a testament to a talented artist when one can make their art “work” in such a way.  To become spellbound by more of Lo’s work (or to watch her silly videos) visit her website here.

- Rachel Clark

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