Lexicon Love | HARRIET MOUTSOPOULOS
Australian born and bred, I am a collage artist who works under the name Lexicon Love.
I have participated in group exhibitions across the world, from New York and Miami, including showing at Scope Art Fair in 2019 as part of the Samsung Special Category, to places throughout the UK, my work has a widespread audience. In addition to Solo shows in Sydney Australia, I have been included in numerous publications including Aesthetica Magazine and Create Magazine and The Penn Review.
I simply love the idea of being able to renegotiate and manipulate the origins of an image through the medium of collage art. Ultimately it’s the way in which collage art challenges traditional notions of aesthetics, which I find most appealing.
I am drawn to the surreal and unsettling and try to inject that into my work where possible, always seeking out the unexpected connections between humour and tragedy. At first glance, the elements of humour and tragedy don’t seem to go together, yet they are so absolutely inseparable. Their relationship is complicated and one cannot survive without the other. It is in combining the two that true magic begins.
I often combine food and other objects with portraits. On the surface, this absurd combination appears to reject any sense of reason (an extension of my own twisted sense of humour). However, obscuring the faces of my portraits with food is designed to not only challenge traditional notions of beauty, but also to provoke, tease and confuse the observer.
I am Greek. By the way, we Greeks have a complex relationship with food. Ever since I was young, it wasn't about anything else. Eat more this, have some more of that, but not so much of that, this is how you make that, this is not how you make that. Even without explicitly referring to love, food means love. Food is everything and everything is food. Just look at achieving the same degree of intimacy, love and security without food.
I work from my heart. There is no clear-cut idea of what the reaction to my photos should be. I just invite you to consider it for a moment. By showing what is not beautiful by default, you come to a conclusion yourself. For that you have to let go of your ideas about beauty first.
I don’t set out to control the outcome of any piece but rather I want the observer to empathise with the subject through subtle suggestion.
By concealing the faces, I remove any distraction and invite the observer to slow down and join the dots in order to seek out the hidden. I guess the real power of the final composition is what can’t be seen. At this point the observer holds all the power and the artist none!
Although my mental approach is analogue, my physical techniques are digital. In order to avoid digital excess, I employ a self-imposed ban on using anymore than two, and on the rare occasion three, elements.
The most significant challenge for me is giving each artwork the slight imperfections of hand and the general look and feel of being made entirely from traditional analogue practises.
To achieve this I do not use any sophisticated software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Instead, my tools of choice are simple and closely mimic analogue techniques. It’s like working with your hands in the traditional sense.
Remixing the old with the new to create new truths, I organise and reorganise until it ‘feels right’.