The work of London-based artist Elsa Rouy is rooted in lust, gore, and desire. Part of the Guts Gallery family of emerging talents, Rouy creates paintings and sculptures which use the body as a medium to embrace both complex and bizarre ideas of the self. Smothered in fleshy pinks and crimson reds, her most remarkable works feature grotesque figures, often mid embrace, with their rippling limbs in mangled formations. Intimate body parts exposed, with their frames splattered with blood, breast milk and other bodily fluids. Rouy has managed to explore womanhood in ways that prove raunchy and humorous, whilst also raw and inherently political.
As part of London Gallery Weekend, the artist’s latest solo show, dubbed I Could Always Crack a Joke, navigates ideas around sexuality, separation and dependency, with the artist appearing as herself in various, altered iterations. “A couple of the pieces are kind of more experimental for me,” says Rouy. [The exhibition] is not sexual as previous work. Some of the paintings in the show are, but the majority of them are quite serious, there’s a heavier tone to them.”