Upon first encounter one immediately recognises a playful nature in Loki Groves recent body of work. However, through further investigation a myriad of self analysis and personal critique with subtle dark undertones starts to speak.
Within Groves childlike drawing series, Some ppl are happy is a stand out. A lead pencil drawing on cartridge paper - the simple and humorous line drawing of the face combined with the incorporation of SMS shorthand or ‘txtspk’ challenges the conventions of high art. By placing this work in a frame and hanging it within the whitebox gallery, Groves is challenging the what is perceived as valuable within the fine arts. This critique is mirrored in the works text based message. “Some ppl are happy” implies that the viewer is not, by positioning them as the other. Groves can successfully do this as his work confronts a universal anxiety of dissatisfaction with one's life. In regards to the issues his work confronts, Grove states:
"Much of my work is about a personal transitioning from seeing personality traits of vulnerability and sensitivity as weakness, to embracing the particularities of these traits as strengths in confronting and engaging with the big scary world. By seeing myself as part of society, as often as I feel without it, I draw in the weakness and vulnerability I see in moments of small ennui and poignancy, in despair and mirth. Reducing my intervention to the minimal, I feel strongest in portraying the spontaneity and genuineness of these small attempts and expressions of existentialism."
By combining the low end and high end cultures of the arts, Groves draws attention to the fruitless pursuit of happiness through a high end and luxurious lifestyle. Through his very personal drawing style he challenges the perceived ideals of happiness by suggesting that achieving happiness is much simpler than that.