Lola Ehrart is speaking from her lovely studio, in the mountains of Patagonia in Argentina.

  • Q. Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist…

  • A. I’m based in Patagonia, Argentina, and I am a mother of two. I come from a big family of four siblings, and we used to travel all over the place when I was a child. We lived in several countries, and although it was exciting at first, during my teenage years, it became tough to leave my friends and my comfort zone. So, I held on to painting as a way of channeling all that movement and staying mentally sane. I never stopped painting since then.

  • Q. What is your creative process when starting a portrait?

  • A. I start with a photo shoot of the model, basically friends in their own homes. And then with that material, I go to the studio, select the chosen picture, and start working. I work fast, and on several paintings at the same time. I’m fast, firstly because when raising kids, there is not much time to waste; motherhood has definitely made me more efficient. Secondly, because I’m certain that when I overdo and overthink a painting, I totally mess it up. Music and mate are part of my rituals to get in the mood.

  • Q. What kind of relationship is at play in your work between the painter and the model ?

  • A. It's kind of a symbiosis. In fact, the foundation of the painting really
    begins in my encounter with the model, and the quality of this bond reflects directly on the canvas.

  • Q. How Patagonia influences your practice ? 

  • A. I’m originally from Buenos Aires, but I belong in the mountains. It became clear to me then that the city was not for me, overstimulating with stuff I don't need. I felt like my practice could not grow in this environment. Nature, instead, gives me perspective, beauty, and the quietness I need to exist the way I intend. Here, I feel I can open my pores and let it all in. Maybe the only shell I need is a big, mushy wool sweater to go through the winter. Time is slower, and space is wider here.

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  • Q. How does representing womanhood in your practice has evolved in our current societal context ?

  • A. I’m figuring that out in the process. The feminist movement has made it clear that today the gaze is focused there for a reason, and that it is essential to observe the female lineage in history as well as in one's own personal story. Not long ago, women in my paintings were surrounded by dreamy and abstract environments; now, specific settings are starting to appear, and the narrative is not only in the body but also in the objects. The kitchen as a scenario has a lot of meaning.

"The feminist movement has made it clear that today the focus is on women for a reason, and that it is essential to observe the female lineage in history as well as in one's own personal story."

  • Q. Describe your work in three words…

  • A. Honest. Sensual. Intimate

  • Q. Have you always focused your attention on the body?

  • A. Yes

  • Q. Who are the contemporary art figures who influenced you the most?

  • A. Michael Borremans. Ruprecht Von Kaufmann. Jenna Gribbon. Lucien Freud. Egon Schiele.

  • Q. If you could have diner with anyone dead or alive?

  • A. Julio Cortazar.

  • Q. Are you experiencing any blocks in you practice right now ?

  • A. Strangely it’s flowing quite well at the moment.