Unit London is thrilled to announce Oh de Laval‘s first solo booth at Art Paris 2022 with Galerie Marguo, available to view until 10th April. Comprising six new paintings and two glass sculptures, this special presentation will showcase de Laval’s unique world of figurative art whose unpredictable and fun-loving qualities never shy away from the darker side of human existence.
Oh de Laval’s work is characterised by an unnerving and honest depiction of rough and raw human emotions through erotic expressionism. For her debut Art Paris booth, Laval continues her study of the dark human psyche, presenting a body of work that explores a psychological phenomenon dubbed “cute aggression”. This term refers to an urge to fatally squeeze or bite something one finds unbearably adorable.
Instead, one may dig their nails into their palms while saying things like, “I could eat you”, through gritted teeth. Similarly, when in love and desiring such closeness, one might fantasize about climbing inside of the body of their partner and wearing their skin like a coat. Scientists call this a “dimorphous” display of emotion, meaning that a positive emotion elicits a “negative” response, like crying from joy, or maybe wishing to smash one’s hands into the birthday cake of a friend as it is brought out to the table.
We typically (hopefully) resist these urges, letting their imagined sensations course back into our body, training it to understand them as cuteness, pleasure, and delight. Or, if we are Oh de Laval, we might paint these febrile scenarios, merging the ribald hedonism of the depicted figures with the saccharine opulence of gilded rooms, sports cars, champagne, and cotton candy clouds.