I am inviting you to cross the line of reality to begin a journey into a metaphysical reality.
My mind is always occupied by bizarre, it helps to keep my thoughts unframed and fluid.
But my heart belongs to the world of Sensual Things. For me, the subject is of secondary importance: I want to feel and depict what is alive between the subject and me.
I love working on dark paintings and surreal subjects but I am also creating entirely monochrome paintings of sea, ships and clouds reflected in water. I feel that I am the painter of night but I am also the painter of light. Sometimes I am captivated by the brightness and incredible light, at other time I am immersing myself into the darkness of the night.
Allois paints presences. Her figures manifest conditions, sliding away from personality and into mood. A particular character may present itself as a child or adult, man or beast, but its identity gives way almost immediately to its nuance. Mourners are not just sad; they become sadness. Nudes cavorting with animals are not just modest; they become modesty itself. Personages making their way through a landscape come to embody self-containment, self-absorption. This is real abstraction, a dissolution of the seen into the sensed.
The humanoids (and animoids) Allois paints exhibit many of the same distortions and contortions that we see in so much current “lowbrow,” or “newbrow,” painting. But instead of employing an illustrator’s insistent descriptive precision, so prevalent in “newbrow,” Allois engages the brush and palette of a modern painter, luminously impressionist, impetuously expressionist, oddly surrealist, providing her characters with soul even as she compromises their visual substance – indeed, by compromising that substance. She renders her figures vaguely, but they are not vague; as ciphers for sensations and sensibilities, they must be fuzzy to the eye in order to be credible to the heart.
Do Allois’ characters and creatures tell stories? Of a sort; they are active, always engaged in doing something. But before their efforts harden into events, they evolve into a dream state where purpose fades into symbol. Do they seem like fugitives from a children’s book, or a comic strip? They seem related to such storytelling formats, but resist telling such stories. They are fugitives only from Allois’ own imagination – or from her own dreams. Some seem so primitive, so atavistic, that they ring some far-off bell of familiarity in our minds. Some seem not simply alien, but related to the alien caricature that has suffused through our popular culture – the slight bodies, swollen hairless heads, huge slit eyes and pointy chins taking off from the description provided by witnesses to the “autopsies” supposedly performed on spacemen by the U.S. Army at Los Alamos in the late 1940s.
These figures, then, are others and at the same time are us. They don’t simply constitute Allois’ cast of characters; they stand in for any of us. The yogic construct of the soul is as a tiny homunculus seated or curled at the base of the heart. This must be the homunculus with whom, in many variations, Allois populates her canvases.
Los Angeles, November 2006
Peter Frank is art critic for Angeleno Magazine and the LA Weekly and is Senior Curator at the Riverside Art Museum.