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self-portrait, multiple careers

virginia baxter: egres ludob, i goghbot, 2010


I, Goghbot, 2010, Reges Lobud, digital print I, Goghbot, 2010, Reges Lobud, digital print
courtesy the artist
IN THE AUGUST-SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF REALTIME EACH YEAR WE TRY WHERE POSSIBLE TO FEATURE INTERESTING WORKS BY STUDENTS, RECENT GRADUATES AND EMERGING ARTISTS. OUR SEARCH TAKES IN UNIVERSITY WEBSITES AS WELL AS EVENTS SUCH AS THE HATCHED GRADUATE ARTISTS EXHIBITION HELD AT PICA EACH YEAR. MORE RECENTLY, WE’VE CAST OUR EYES OVER THE SHORT-LIST FOR THE NATIONAL YOUTH SELF-PORTRAIT PRIZE HOSTED BY THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY IN CANBERRA.

That’s where we came across our striking cover artwork entitled I Goghbot, 2010 by Egres Ludob. It didn’t win the prize (that was awarded to Bridget Mac for her portrait masculine/feminine). In interpreting Van Gogh’s famous Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Ludob says he “tried to envisage what the work would look like when adapted for modern trash culture which favours shock value and ultra-realism.” At the same time he wanted to “maintain a tongue in cheek criticism of trash culture. When historical works or events are reinterpreted in popular culture, for me they lose a lot of romanticism and mystique due to sensationalism.”

I, Goghbot is part of a series of works that Ludob is working on, based around a similar theme of selective re-imagination of historical works in a modern context.

I asked Egres Ludob’s alter-ego Serge Bodulovic about his educational trajectory which offers an example of the progress of the young working artist in the age of creative industries. He wrote, “I graduated from ANU in 2007 with B Comm (majoring in Marketing) and B Arts (majoring in Art History) degrees. I also completed a fashion design course in Milan after completing university.

“I had decided to study commerce, particularly marketing and advertising because it enabled me to combine creative expression with an educational background that could be utilised in any industry or endeavour. I also like the referential and humorous aspects of marketing and advertising, which I try to adopt in my work. Whether my marketing studies can be used in the traditional sense still remains to be seen. I had also wanted to study Fine Art, but was unable to do so while studying commerce, as the ANU did not offer cross-institutional studies between Fine Art and the Commerce faculty. So I switched my focus to a more academic study of art. My studies in Art History, including film have added to my passion for popular culture and allowed me to get an in-depth insight into the lives and times of artists and movements.”

As well as maintaining his own art practice and curating shows at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space and other galleries, Serge and his colleague Simon Gibson founded the designer boutique menswear label, Book Club.

“While there are clear overlaps between the two in a creative sense as both use the medium of photography, I personally treat them as two separate areas of endeavour, hence the use of an (admittedly poor) nom de guerre for my artworks. The reason why I separate the two areas of my life is due to the fact that with fashion design there are commercial realities that need to be addressed in order to have a successful label. With art, it is purely a means of self-expression, not based on commercial considerations. I also have more trepidation about showing my works as an artist as it’s a more direct representation of my creativity than fashion design, which is more removed as it deals with tangible, utilitarian objects.”


National Youth Self-Portrait Prize, Finalists exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, on show to September 12. http://www.portrait.gov.au

RealTime issue #98 Aug-Sept 2010 pg. 53

© Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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