James Lavapie’s “I LOVE MY OPPRESSOR” series explores the integration of imagery and poetry to create provocative digital collages. Through inquiry between the oppressed and the oppressor, Lavapie creates work that exposes the dynamic tension between awareness of the arbitrary and the need to adhere to it. Pieces within the series feature imagery of the grotesque and the beautiful. He supplements these overlayed images with original poetic pseudo-scripture, accentuating humanity’s dependency on the arbitrary. Through juxtaposition, Lavapie aims to question the nature of definition itself.


James Lavapie (b. 1991) is an interdisciplinary artist. He primarily works in photography, collage, and textile. He explores the peculiarities of being human and the social realities which accompany the human experience. Lavapie attempts to juxtapose and contextualize each image he creates, he simultaneously venerates and condemns his subjects. He is fascinated by the notion of contradiction. Fundamentally, Lavapie is concerned with the processes which facilitate the distribution of power. This concern has manifested itself in the artist’s work as a preoccupation with grasping the essence and modes of social connection- the essence of relationships.