Travis Louie Paints Old-Timey Alien Characters in “Watch the Skies”

by CaroPosted on

There was a resurgence of interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials in the 1970s after Swiss author Erich Von Daniken wrote “Chariots of The Gods.” Travis Louie (HF Vol. 32 cover artist) grew up in that environment, and once thought of aliens as the ultimate immigrants. For his new body of work, “Watch the Skies”, which debuts tonight at KP Projects/MKG in Los Angeles, Louie incorporates aliens into his cast of creature portraits. His monochromatic acrylic paintings have been likened to bizarre snapshots of monsters, to the effect of old-timey photographs from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Though Louie has a longtime fascination with atomic-age science fiction, his aliens represent more than just a fantasy. “My work is a continuing conversation that started as a veiled commentary about the immigrant experience. Originally the paintings were portraits of mythical beings and curious characters who come from unusual circumstances,” he says. These include characters like “Clara”, who worries about wearing her antenna on straight, and “The Mysterious Harry Waxman”, a spidery visitor from another world who decided to live out his life on Earth. “No one knows for certain why [aliens] come here, and theorists have come up with all sorts of ideas that range from evil intentions to beneficial ones. I like to think they just come here to look around.”

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