photo by Dharam Khalsa
Your stone carvings feature objects like nikes, backpacks, and video cameras, things that are part of skate culture and typically never seen as fit subjects for stone. By carving these everyday, subcultural objects, are you reacting against the high-brow seriousness of stone carving and its association with solemn memorials?
It’s a basic reflection of my life. I wanted to do representational work through one of the oldest mediums, which has slipped away. When I was in Athens I felt like my life was moving too fast. It made me accept mortality much more and inspired me to make work that could stand the test of time.
You manage to make stone appear soft in your carvings of apparel. What about stone as a material attracted you? Were you drawn to the challenge it posed?
Recently I’ve really strived to create a high archival value to the work. I am also working with materials that are usually free and more eco friendly than resins and cement.
I am always up for a challenge and at the time when I began working with stone covid had just started. So I had the time to delve into the practice. What mainly drew me to stone was the relationship as skateboarder I have with it, for decades by sliding, grinding and popping off it.
Your background is in skating, and skating objects appear often in your work. Skate cultures encompasses fashion and videography, but not casting or stone carving. Do you see your work as pushing skate culture into mediums where it typically doesn’t go?
Yes completely, I want to represent the culture that I have been a part of since I was 11. The mediums I choose to work just needed to be applied to a skateboard aesthetic tastefully and thought out.
In some of your castings, you make realistic, transparent replicas of an object, but then change its meaning by filling it with unexpected contents, as in your video cameras filled with coffee beans and batteries. What effect are you trying to achieve with this disjunction between the object and its contents?
I want to show items that are used in the object itself, like the camera, would be tape and batteries. Then I wanted to use anything that’s personally involved with me like candy or spray paint tips. Also commissions can take on a personal level to the buyer. If something is popular at the moment I’ll toss it for relevancy.
Your subjects are typically urban and they seem embedded in New York, as in the resin Nike Air Max’s filled with subway cards. Do you see your work as a kind of street art, or a tribute to the city?
I see some of my work as a tribute to the times are were in. For example, the Nike Air Force 1 is an extremely popular sneaker that I never wear. I woud see them daily on the subway, butI haven’t ridden the subway since pre-covid. So I would totally see it as a tribute to our city. I see it as street art only when I leave out cast mistakes on the street for a passerby to take.
Click Here ︎ to see Louis’s work.
Louis’s Instagram: @louis.sarowsky + @lurker_lou
Interview by Christian Prince.