meet @ilovebrucewillis, the margot tenenbaum of instagram
i-D caught up with the enigmatic online artist to talk about the joys of confusing your audience.
Most artist have the ability to create imaginary worlds, but few are able to inhabit those of their own making. After all, if escaping reality was that easy we'd all do it. Amy Louise, who you may know as @ilovebrucewillis, appears to have figured it out. Her hyper-coloured Instagram invites viewers into a digital space inhabited by boobs, dogs and undiluted weirdness. Like a Gen-Y Margot Tenenbaum, the most impressive feature of this multi-disciplinary artist is her ability to remain elusive in front of almost 80 thousand fans.
Despite the tide of public attention and the eye of major cultural personalities Amy's attracted, it's hard to summarise what the hell she's actually doing. Her feed shares her diverse fine art practise—sculpture, self-portraiture and digital art—but she offers no contextualising captions or biography. She communicate exclusively in selfies, body horror, and pop cultural perversions. i-D caught up with the artist to try and figure out what the hell is going on.
I like how ambiguous your online presence is. You never really define what is your work and what is your day-to-day life. Was this a conscious decision?
I didn't intend to be elusive online. I think it was all the internet safety talks we had in high school that subconsciously affected what I shared. I also found that limiting and controlling what I share about my life can be quite humorous—for me at least.
Talking about high school—what was the first social platform you really go into?
I started actively using Tumblr in late 2012 when I graduated high school. I wasn't really allowed to use the internet much before that, so to start off on such a big and chaotic platform really opened my eyes to the endlessness of the internet. It was scary, but finding my place on the internet was easy because Tumblr allowed me to connect with people who were similar to me.
Let's chat about your art. Things like fruit, condoms and latex appear often—is sex is a central theme?
I'm not really trying to make my works about sexuality and the body— it all just happens to fall within that realm naturally. My work is more about reaction and interaction. Ideally they would exist without a critical context, to elicit natural and unfiltered responses. I like to bring humour and the abject into my works and that's what largely influences the materials I use.
What do you find yourself reacting to then, do you feel you have a constant source of inspiration?
I love watching David Attenborough documentaries and I think they influences the way I work. I love seeing all the crazy phenomenons that happen in nature and being like, "Ew that's so weird but I love it!" I like to apply that kind of reaction to my work—it's fun when the viewer is conflicted or confused. Also, having something or someone to make me laugh on a daily basis really keeps me in touch with myself. Like, it can be memes on the internet or my friends that keep me grounded and as real as possible. Laughing at myself is something I always do to remind myself not to take things too seriously.
Text and Photography Jonno Revanche
Make up Monique Dilernia
Styling Yi Ng
Assistants Catherine Bouris and Josh Valageorgiou