“I was looking at the art and I realized that I was Untethered,” Columbia-based artist, Karl L. Larsen, describes the title of his upcoming exhibition, “… it’s a free for all in there. Untethered means to literally separate myself mentally and physically from the things that I think are plaguing society.”
Local artist, Karl L. Larsen, dives into his inner being and views the world through a fresh perspective in his upcoming show, Untethered, opening October 5th at Frame of Mind, with a reception from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. With topics that are meant to be mind-boggling and controversial, this show will offer not only originality, but opportunity for discussion on topics that deserving of discourse.
The 33-year-old Columbia native will be showcasing art that posits a question that is faced in everyday society but is often avoided: Why do we believe what do believe? A question that revolves around this broad idea of thinking for oneself.
Larsen shows his art through new eyes, by creating in a manner that involves him “taking off the lenses,” and showcasing pieces that dwell in his own thoughts, leaving breadcrumbs behind for the viewer to pick up, and make what they will from; hopefully exploring their own views.
“Over the last year or so, I’ve been going through a transition, and I like to use the, you know, ‘taking off the lenses’ that I’ve been wearing my entire life … I finally got brave enough to take those off and detach from things, and to step outside of my boundaries,” Larsen explains on the idea behind this intriguing collection, “… So, a lot of these are mixed up in some very interesting conspiracies with politics, and amongst other things, but once I took these glasses off, I began looking at everything with fresh eyes … it gave me inspiration but it allowed me to create in this undisciplined, just go at it; no rules.”
With art that explores a multitude of different media and style, the artist hopes that his work will create dialog through the vision that he has created from his own ideas; a vision that isn’t corrupted by the media. With only two pieces that come from a personal side of Larsen’s life, each opposing piece contains different content that is embodied with a rabbit hole of possibilities for each individual to explore, asking questions such as, why do you look at the world the way that you do?
“I do kind of want to have those discussions with people who want to talk about this kind of stuff and they are curious,” the artist says, “and when you take those glasses off a beautiful world emerges.”
Larsen has been creating art for 5 years now, however, his show Untethered isn’t about creating beauty from his external view - it is about creating work from an internal perspective.
The artist debates the idea that society is consumed with what we are getting from the media and believing everything we are told without taking in our own perspectives, which is what one needs: to be challenged and to have their mind stimulated.
“It’s really about thinking for yourself, and even though this stuff is strange and it may be a little offensive to people, I think they need it,” Larsen continues his exploration into the creation of his work, “Artist have to tell the truth, because nobody else is telling the truth.”
Through this collection, Larsen is not only providing a new perspective on the strange things in the world around us, but he is opening opportunities to learn more about the things that are really processing in the viewer’s own mind. “So, the fun thing about it is that, not only can you gain a new perspective on things, you learn more about yourself,” Larsen explains.
Along with this thought driven collection, Larsen will also display fashion that he designed via individuals at the event and his popular painted couch, which has circulated Columbia, at opening night.
One should come into this show with an open-mind, expecting the unexpected and be willing to dive into their own ideology through the ideas of another. Larsen has no intention of this show portraying what his previous show offered, but instead is providing a whole new chapter of work.
“I want to always test myself … and as long as I stay like that, every time that I show is going to be wildly different then the last,” Larsen describes on what to expect, “And I think that’s what artist have to do in order to challenge themselves.”
Untethered will be displayed for two months, closing on November 30th. To view more of Larsen’s work, you can purchase tickets to an event that he will be featured at, Collectively Supported Art, on November 9th (tickets available at the opening reception of Untethered) or find him painting at the West Columbia Fall Back Fest on November 2nd.
Columbia is lucky to have an artist who breaks boundaries and challenges not only himself, but his audience; one who explores controversies through a new, clear perspective.
“… that’s what art should do. Art should bring people together. It should be challenging people,” says Larsen, “Artist have to tell the truth about themselves because if they don’t - or what they’re trying to portray - then what are they doing?”
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