A talk with Laurindo De Abreu Soto

Why Sculpture?

I think because it is an all-round practice. It combines many of the skills required in other art forms, yet it has a very particular language.

What inspires your practice?

Almost everything, it is a matter of learning to “See”; to train your eyes to capture details that the average human being discards as irrelevant. Nature, of course plays a very important part; as well as aviation, architecture and design.

Is there any artist that influences your work?

Without a doubt the Finnish designer Tappio Wirkkala and then after that a long list that includes painters like Richard Diebenkorn, Cy Tombly and of course Picasso.

How do you describe your style of work?

My line of work is abstract expressionism; my style is one of constant experimentation, within the realm of abstraction.

Do you have a theme in your work?

Actually in my work I explore a few ideas, from spirituality to space; the final frontier. How sculpture defines that space and how vital is to get this relation right is important for me. Sculpture has a physical presence that competes with us more than painting or furniture. If space and its two-dimensional cousin distance, place such a significant role on human interaction and relationships. What is the real role of sculpture in a public space for example? Or in a more intimate and enclosed area? The way in which it enriches that interaction.

I am also fascinated by the cult objects, objects of worship or knowledge; their look, their mystery.

How do you find your ideas?

Ideas are basically processed inspiration, aided by imagination. I rely on smart combinations, to refine and produce the final art work.

How you begin a new piece? Do you use models?

At the beginning there is always a drawing, I made a selection from my drawings, and the most interesting ones get explored in detail. I only use models if I have time, the idea is a bit too complex or if I need to show the idea to a client.

Then, I select the material to be used; that in many cases is dictated by the size of the work and where it will be exhibited. And from then on it is many hours of intense hard work and lots of dust.