Artist, Che Lovelace is exhibiting his latest body of work entitled, simply, Recent Paintings at the newly opened LOFTT Gallery till August 10th. REC Magazine met up with him to discuss his current work, muses and future plans.
REC: What’s with the name of the show, it’s so minimalist?
CL: I tend to have very understated titles for paintings and exhibitions. If I’m not moved in a particular way by a theme I tend to do something neutral. So, Che Lovelace Recent Paintings 2018 pretty much sums it. I’m very utilitarian when it comes to that. I also think that paintings are so colorful and there is such a wide range of subject matters that I don’t really feel like I have to embellish that any more with elaborate titles. I want people to lean more on the imagery than the titles or anything that I am saying to let the work open up on its own terms.
Tell us about the collection
Over the last five years I have slowed down production a lot. I take a much longer time to make paintings now. I tend to trust time more than I do a good idea or subject matter. While I’ve finished some of these paintings last year, they’ve been in the studio for about four years. It’s a process, I reworked ideas and I trust those types of paintings more.
One of the things I’ve tried to nurture in my work over the last seven years is to have a variety of subjects. I’ve seen the landscape in a variety of ways-as a surfer, as a country man growing up in Matura, as an artist in the city, as a participator in cultural events. So I always want my work to reflect that.
Does your sense of place have any impact on your work?
Of course, Trinidad offers a dense space that useful and intriguing but it’s not easy to unlock. The challenge is what keeps me interested in wanting to paint it and reflect that. I tend to see it in the physical, spiritual and social sense, so when I say landscape it’s not just flowers and trees. I tend to see the energy of the place and that’s what I keep drawing on.
What inspires you these days?
I have a strong affinity for made here in the post 1940’s. That’s where a lot of my current art has looking towards for inspiration in terms of colour and subject matter. The paintings that I’m making are looking more closely at what we have produced. I’m still in touch with what’s happening in contemporary art scene internationally. What I find intriguing about that post world war two period is that while there were one or two figures who rose to the top there were a lot of other artists who were making high quality and interesting work almost in dialogue with each other. When I look into that era I could see this very vibrant environment where people were looking at what each other was doing and conversing with their art and experimenting. It wasn’t so much about a prescribed way of painting or having an exclusive clientelle. The people who collect art generally follow what artists are doing and it should not be the other way around. When that happens it gets a bit dangerous and you limit yourself. You have to stick your guns and as an artist lead in that field. Art has to evolve and grow so that balance between the commercial side and the creation of the art will be struck.