Erlend Steiner Lovisa (1970) paints still life portraits of females in his own stage-managed settings. The woman portrayed in his oil paintings and etches has a story to tell. Her face is obscured by her hair and it is left to our own imagination to seek the story hidden behind.
Erlend is not only fascinated by long hair but also by naked feet, and features these in many of his paintings and etches.
Erlend takes photos of his subjects and paints from these. He stage sets the scene with the subjects taken out of their everyday surroundings and placed on a beach or in a wood or a field or even on a wall. Erlend takes advantage of the natural play of light and shadow the sun gives him, preferably the late afternoon light, and incorporates this play of light onto his canvasses. He eliminates all excessive details in his paintings to emphasise accurate, unembellished realism.
The women portrayed are scantly clothed, showing their naked limbs because Erlend takes his photos in the summer months, he finds this sensual and exciting. Of late, natural elements shown in the background play a more prominent role in his work. Erlend paints, for example, a woman sitting on a tree branch or half covered with sand or hidden in the grass, whereas before his subject was sitting on a stool with her hair hanging over her face.
By covering the subjects face Erlend forces the observer to guess at the story behind the scene. Why is she sitting there? What is she hiding? The woman is elusive, transient, enslaved, forcing us to want to unravel her secrets.