Orson was conceived and founded by us, Pedro and Valerie Lollett, two siblings from Caracas, Venezuela.

We make contemporary art consisting mostly of photography and video, informed by the aesthetics of popular culture and digital media.

We have extensive experience working in the advertising, communication, and entertainment fields. Constantly engaged and dynamically creative, we produce and organize projects in these areas that offer a quality of high-style, sexiness, and ultimately refinement. This visual proficiency is carefully transferred into our fine art, which exhibits a reflexive character.

Seeking a more meaningful and even symbiotic way to combine ubiquitous commercial products with artistic beauty, we have entered the realm of fine art presenting artwork that demands interaction and self-examination. 

While both have worked independently of another on personal fine art projects, it was only with the founding of our collective that our work and vision has crossed into the public eye. Art has always been at the center of our worlds, with a mother who is an accomplished artist and a childhood spent visiting countless galleries and museums. We see this education and engagement as a key influence on our overall outlook and style.

Orson has a particular focus on culture, life in society, modern aesthetics and the human mind.

Miami, FL.

A Venezuelan Art Collective: Orson

 

Orson‘s body of work confronts issues of artificiality and self-presentation within contemporary society and digital culture. Pedro and Valerie Lollett present their pieces without personal credit, and so can be considered for the most part anonymous. In their interactive work, the duo builds a dialogic framework questioning the boundaries between digital media and the truth of their audience’s private worlds. 

The use of artificial materials in the composed pictures such as the Playing America series and the various fill-in-the-blank photos (This is About __________) all invite audience participation. This series takes a sumptuous use of color and composition and adds a layer of text facilitating not only intellectual inquiry but also emotional response. Works such as Life is a Pageant and OCD evoke feelings of disconnect to standards of beauty and domestic perfection. Model Husband remarks on the stubbornly enduring presence of old-fashioned gender roles. 

The United States has long had a mythology of self-reliance, individualism and self-sufficiency, and this “can-do” attitude is confronted in all its fantasy and power in works such as Fixing America, which features a diminutive toolkit. While making a generalization about an entire nation is of course dangerous, we might observe that like many places, the United States as whole lacks a certain self-reflectiveness when it comes to its own national character, blithely willing to accept its own entrepreneurial spirit and the reward system of consumerism. This reward system in turn has its own visual beauty and way of satiating the human need for beauty. The Venezuelan siblings acknowledge their enchantment with American culture. However, in many ways the Miami-based duo strives to lay bare the artificiality behind commercial America. By using ordinary or mundane objects, Orsonengages the audience by using a pictorial vision of ordinariness and the recognizable: “We make art that, in some way, is close to people and that connects in some way with reality.” 

Yet there is something purely aesthetic in the work, an un-inhibited enjoyment of color and beauty. Like the monochromatic work of Karsten Wegener, there is a refrain of high polish, bright or saturated hues and sheen, seemingly taking the place of the appeal of painterly hues or the surfaces of a sculpture. The element of the synthetic and startling beautiful is an important currency in the visual world of today. 

Orson’s strategy includes deciding on subject matter, photographing the images, and retouching color, light, hues, and shades without altering the shape or context. This preserves the sense of ordinariness while imbuing a sense of the extraordinary, as we see in the set of three images Short Story about Humans, depicting the transformation of a matchstick: the first stage is pristine, almost innocent, until the match burns and is finally reduced to ashes. The duo notes that this is an open-ended work with multiple meanings depending on the viewer: the stages of love, life cycles, or even the ephemerality of material possessions. 

An open relationship with the viewer is at the core of the collective’s practice, which constantly seeks to provoke self-examination. This is seen most profoundly in the series of photographs featuring a sentence with a fill-in-the-blank section. Inspired by Sacks Test, a 1948 psychological questionnaire, the pair notes an interesting interaction: “We noticed most try first to find the answer in the image, and it is only later that they look within themselves to find a response.”

Rosa JH Berland, New York, June 2016

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