SPANISH artist Didier Lourenço is exhibiting his art work until the end of the year at Pietermaritzburg gallery Butterflies for Africa. It is the only gallery in South Africa to showcase the new exhibition by the international artist. Lourenço’s work remains in high demand globally, and this year has brought the highest number of solo exhibitions in his career with exhibitions also running now in Paris, Madrid and Singapore. Locally, Lourenço’s work is made up of a selection of oils, lithographs and mixed-medium work.
Tonight chatted to the artist to learn more about his work and the reason for bringing the exhibition to South Africa.
Ever since he was born, he has been involved in art because his father is a lithographer. “I loved to be in his studio surrounded by papers, colours, inks, brushes and other artists. I learnt the trade of lithography at age 18 and began painting in a corner of the atelier. In the beginning, my work was more figurative in a way to explain the physical.
“Now, my focus is more inside the persons, their expressions, emotions, and the dynamics and relations between them. It is more based on people and feelings. This permits me to be more abstract and enjoy my work in another way. For me, rule number one is to “enjoy when you work”.
On showcasing the exhibition in KwaZulu-Natal, he says: “I was lucky enough to meet Breet (owner of Butterflies in Africa) in my home town of Premia de Mar. He had discovered my work in a print in South Africa and sought me out in Barcelona to see more of my work. That resulted in my first show in his gallery in 2010. I travelled to Pietermaritzburg for the exhibition. We have continued our relationship since then.”
Shedding light on his creative process, Lourenço says it involves finding the idea, then discovering how to make it a reality and finally, realising the idea: “An idea is never appearing in the same way. I normally start with a tiny piece of paper and a pencil, and I sketch. Then, at the moment I have to put this sketch on a canvas, many things can happen.”
Asked about the biggest challenge or obstacle that he faces as an artist, he says his biggest fear is to wake up one day with no ideas. “My goal as an artist is to keep myself awake so that never happens.”
So what can art lovers expect from the exhibition? Oil on canvas and mixed media on paper: “These paintings are of my recent works. I expect people are also going to capture the textures, colours and nuances and how I use them to explain emotions. I hope everyone enjoys a special and unique moment with the paintings.”
• The exhibition runs at Butterflies for Africa in Pietermaritzburg. For information, call the gallery at 033 387 1356.