I have been doing live painting for all kind of events for over 3 years now. Everything from private parties to corporate staff events, client appreciations, product launches, fundraisers, even festivals and sport events like FIFA and Pan AM Games. Recently I had taken a little break from doing live painting to re-assess my relationship to the experience of creating art in an entertainment context. Taking a break to look back I have realized that live art is so much more than entertainment at an event. Live art gives the artist the opportunity to capture the energy, the story of the event, it's people, it's message and translate all of this through a visual image. This image then becomes part of the experience for the people having the experience.
When I looked back through my gallery of images I realized that each event was so unique, so different. Each event had a different story and this story is what fascinates me as an artist. How do we translate our environment and our experience of our environment in such a way that the observer becomes part of the experience itself while still sharing the collective story of that experience? My most recent experience painting at Mississauga Latin Festival really brought this point home.
I was inspired to paint within my style of raw canvas and black paint in a loose sketchy style as a way to tell the story of peace in Latin America, most especially in my home country Colombia which recently signed it's first peace agreement after 50 years of war. The girl in the image represent peace, the notion we all try to understand and desire to have, but which gets so challenging to attain due to so many different interests and hate due to the past.
After I painted this piece someone who came from a different region of the world (one also experiencing conflict) told me they teared up upon seeing it because it was so reflective of their country's experience with peace. This moment made it really clear to me the powerful role live painting plays as a way of sharing our collective stories, connecting with each other and understanding our shared experience.
So, whether that is about something as emotionally complex as peace, or something as emotionally charged as the devotion and pride of being a fan at the Toronto Raptors Fan Zone where I painted the below image, every event has a unique experience to share with me, with each other and with anyone who views the artwork, and for me this is one of the best parts of doing live painting.
Here is a small gallery of some pieces from last three years and the experience and stories captured through live painting.