Van Veluw, born in The Bible-belt, with a grandfather who was a minister, has been fascinated with the church and its rituals since his early youth. Not only the complexity, conviction and certainty with which the faith was proclaimed in his congregation and the stark visual language of its practice made him sensitive to the visual vernacular of religious seduction.
Yet also modern spiritual movements, such as the well-known Church of Scientology, that use religious symbols in a convincing manner, intrigue him as well.Throughout the ages, in cultures around the world, religion has played an important role in the development of art, architecture and storytelling. Even if spiritually is ultimately immaterial, most people practice their faith in places of worship, and make use of sacred objects and perform sacred rituals. Van Veluw has meticulously studied the rich formal language and power of imagination that is used to lead people to religious faith.
Within this research, he is particularly interested in the aspects of the religious process. He chooses not to focus on political issues surrounding faith, but rather explores how the various faiths operate in the mind of the faithful through form and image. Similarly he investigates whether he, as an artist, is capable of provoking a convincing spiritual experience in the visitor. Through the use of light, symmetry and harmony—often utilized to depict the pursuit of divine perfection—as well as forms reminiscent of altars, idols and temples, he manages to evoke a sacral experience. The experience of walking into his installations resembles that of treading on holy ground.
Levi Van Veluw b. 1985 in Hoevelaken. Currently lives and works in Amsterdam.
He studied at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. Since graduating in 2007, Levi van Veluw has produced multi-disciplinary works that includes photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and drawings. This varied body of work has been showcased in many different locations across Europe and the United States, earning him a number of nominations and awards.
The work of the artist was showcased in a series of major museum exhibitions, including the exhibition “Dead or Alive” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Marres House for Contemporary Culture Maastricht; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Netherlands; Museum Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa. 2013 saw the publication of the book “Origin of the Beginning”. This singular book is a work of art in itself, published in an edition of 1000 hand-signed copies. The book, which is widespread among collectors and enthusiasts, provides an overview of the artist’s work from 2006 to 2013, a rich oeuvre that includes photographs, drawings, installations. Van Veluw's works are part of collections across the globe including The Borusan Collection in Istanbul, Turkey and the Hèrmes Shop in New York, USA.