Lita Cabellut: ‘A Portrait of Human Knowledge’ @ Opera Gallery

Opera Gallery showcases the solo exhibition of Spain based artist Lita Cabellut. The show titled ‘A Portrait of Human Knowledge’, is a selection of large sized canvas portraits of influential personalities of the last 150 years.

Marie Curie, Garcia Lorca, Rudolf Nureyev, Marlene Dietrich, Mother Teresa, Sigmund Freud, Coco Chanel and Maria Callas, are just a few of Cabellut’s portraits. Depicted with a distinct style that encompasses a colourful palette, an old masterish feel and an expressionistic mood, Cabellut’s monumental images appear to be on a constant need for an open dialogue with the viewer. With clear references to her classical training background and the balancing with abstract influences one can distinguish the artist’s ability to effortlessly infuse her work with deep and intense emotion.

Cabellut employs well recognised icons for her narrative and then forcefully exposes their inner self, not only by suspending their objective façade but also by accentuating their unique emotional state. This transparency has an instantaneous impact on the viewer; we subconsciously become the ‘receiver’ of this intensifying emotional domain. We witness a practice of inaudible psychoanalytic -or even psychographic- portraiture, analogous to an esoteric self-assessment but, simultaneously, almost synonymous to a personal identification process.

Lita Cabellut talked to REVma -/+ about her work:

REVma -/+: Your portraits encompass a vast range of influential icons from the last century or so. What were your criteria in choosing them?
L.C.: There have been many great minds in the past just like there are great minds now among us. It is difficult to make a selection of bravery. So I choose simplicity. I chose those who made big impact and inspired respect on me. The ones that I portray, they are for me the ones that are walking on the trapezium with their foots off the insanity and wisdom

REVma -/+: Does the process of depicting each of your characters on canvas involve a prior, in depth, research of their personal lives or are you mainly inspired by their public image and publicised photographic material?
L.C.: Well, the documentation or pictures we have on these great human beings is only a fragment of a moment of their life. Their philosophy and the trace that they left on humanity, give me the tools I need to compose the portrait. Everything is related to the historical moment that they were living in. With this information and by holding their memories in this historical moment that we are living in, I try to make an illusion of the reality of these characters.

REVma -/+: To what extend does your personal history and experience reflect on your visual language in conjunction with the narrative’s emotional state?
L.C.: Everything – I can only paint what I know. Unfortunately, life brought me the experience of many landscapes and because we live forever on the same planet, in these landscapes there are a lot of footsteps of similiar emotion.