Known for his expressive pop-art portraits made entirely in collage technique, Thai-born artist Virut is exhibiting for the first time in Auckland’s Lightworx Gallery by Artbay.
In an era of image saturation made possible by social media and digital publications, Virut has an eye for detail, colour and how best to re-imagine it into highly tactile, large pieces.
Virut begins his creative process by scanning through thousands of magazines and selecting images for their colour and texture but, most importantly and according to the artist for an “emotion”. These magazine cuttings are then meticulously layered to produce larger than life portraits which, from a distance, seem almost hyper-realistic yet when viewed closely, seem to softly dissolve into layers of seemingly unrelated images that, as a whole, carry quite specific sensations.
The fact that some of these individual cuttings come from risque magazines (as well as more salubrious fashion ones) can often instigate a sense of voyeurism and unease that says, perhaps, a lot about our modern day dependance on pixelated, digital media for entertainment and even socialisation.
These collages can be found in art collections in corners as disparate as the United States of America and Malaysia and his self-confessed fans include Italian fashion giant Luciano Bennetton and Chinese model Liu Dan.