Travis Andrew Louie spent his childhood browsing comic book shops and watching movies at the local cinema in Queens, New York. Growing up in a world of rocket ships, superheroes and giant monsters, he began filling sketchbooks with images of movie monsters like King Kong, Godzilla and Ray Harryhausen creatures. Now, Travis’ drawing, sketches and paintings reflect those childhood interests imbued with some serious talent and imagination.
Travis Louie Creatures and Curiosities
As a young adult, he attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. After a few years of freelancing, he began his current body of work. Over the past two decades Travis Louie has created an imaginary world of characters through both his illustrations and his paintings, that combine his interest in the history of late 19th century immigration with genre films, human oddities, circus sideshows, old Vaudeville magic acts, Victorian portraits, and all things otherworldly.
Many of Travis Louie’s paintings come from the tiny little drawings and writings in his journals. He’s created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times.
It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society. The underlining thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived.
Some of their origins are a complete mystery while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, a strange furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge, an engine driver can t seem to stop vibrating in his sleep, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, etc, . . .Using inventive techniques of painting with acrylic washes and simple textures on smooth boards, he’s created portraits from an alternate universe that may or may not have existed.
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