Emerging Talent: Meet Artist Loribelle Spirovski.

Loribelle Spirovski paintings
Loribelle Spirovski, Uzumaki 3, oil on panel, 2017

As someone with a love of fine art and a modicum of art history knowledge, you can imagine my glee when coming across artist Loribelle Spirovski, a young new talent whose work reminded me of three of my favorite painters: Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. After seeking out more of her work, I had to sit down and immediately write a post.

Artist Loribelle Spirovski

Loribelle Spirovski
Loribelle Spirovski at the opening of her solo show at Guy Hepner Gallery (in front of her works; The Architect and Zeus Disguised as a Swan)

She’s not even 30 and yet she’s quickly becoming noticed on the International Art Scene. Having won a series of prizes in Australia and abroad she is now getting her first solo show in the US at New York’s Guy Hepner Gallery and has an upcoming solo show at Australia’s Cambridge Studio Gallery.

contemporary artist
Red Eye, oil on panel 41 cm x 41 cm, 2017
The artist’s brother as Hamlet 2017, oil on canvas

Loribelle was born in 1990 in Manila, to Serbian and Filipino parents and graduated in 2012 from the College of Fine Arts. Currently based in Sydney, she works predominantly in the medium of paint, but also includes drawing in her practice. The majority of the works shown in this post are oil and acrylic on canvas.

Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 21cm x 21 cm, 2017
The Architect, 2018, oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas

Of her work, Loribelle says that she’s very intrigued by spaces and how they can affect and shape its occupants. She goes on to say “As a child, I was always watching people, but was always more interested in spaces under the bed, in the crevice of a couch, or the corner of a wall. I would gravitate to those places and sit very close to them, feeling myself become separated from the world outside. I think that I still work in the same way, and am very sensitive to my surroundings, so the work that I tend to produce reflects how I was feeling within particular spaces.”

Pieta, oil and acrylic on canvas, 152cm x 152cm
Labyrinth, 2018, oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas
Prometheus, 2018, oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas
St. Sebastian as a Minotaur, 2018, oil, acrylic and spray on canvas

“As a child of immigrants and an immigrant myself, my fixation on space is a particularly meaningful one. I am constantly trying to find myself within the space of a canvas, even if it is through the portrait of another, or the portrait of someone that exists only in my imagination. These indirect self-portraits are distillations of my identity as a young woman, with all of my fixations, obsessions and anxieties. Over the past few years, I have found that I have become more and more drawn to the tension of a space – the need to fill it, the need to understand its strange sentience.” – Loribelle Spirovski

Pareidolia, 2018, oil, acrylics and charcoal on canvas
Homme 35, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas,
figurative painting
Study for Ali, 2018, oil on canvas

In the video below, Maria Stoljar interviewed Loribelle Spirovski for episode 19 of the Talking with Painters podcast. Spirovski talks about her recent work and takes us into her studio which she shares with her partner, concert pianist, Simon Tedeschi:

Portia Geach Memorial Award, 2014
Muswellbrook Art Prize, 2015
Women’s International Day Art Prize, 2015 (highly commended)
Black Swan Art Prize, 2015
Portia Geach Memorial Award, 2015

From her Facebook “about” page:
Graduating from COFA in 2012, my practice has since developed from a study of my immediate surroundings and interests. Primarily centred on portraiture, my body of work has been an exploration into challenging conventions and bridging artistic genres.

With an interest in mythology, philosophy, psychology, contemporary Feminism and identity, my artistic style is influenced by artists ranging from Francis Bacon, to Caravaggio, to Andy Warhol. Characterised by the juxtaposition of photorealism and elements of surrealism and pop art, my body of work is highlighted by vivid neon figures that form a stark contrast to dark brooding portraits. Eclectic in style and technique, I am interested in bridging historical and contemporary genres, to create hybrid original pieces that employ appropriation as a means of reflecting the richness of art history and its place in contemporary art.

Though my body of work can be categorised into ‘light’ paintings that incorporate vibrant colours of both figures and landscapes, and ‘dark’ paintings that utilise a more sombre palette to depict figures, both styles are concerned with examining superficial layers and interrogating hidden psychological depths.

With an aim of challenging audiences’ perceptions, in such an image-saturated and over-stimulated society, I juxtapose colour and subject-matter to entice and provoke, stimulate thought and reflection. In doing so, I invite audiences to consider and reconsider what they see, and to exercise mindfulness in their consumption of images.

Upcoming shows:

‘Be Still’, Guy Hepner, NYC, March 22 – May 4.

’Strangers in a Room’, Cambridge Studio Gallery, April 29 – May 13

Official Website of Loribelle Spirovski

Follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/loribellespirovski/

a special thanks to Loribelle for her permission, information and  images © Loribelle Spirovski