Che Lovelace

Joyfully energetic painting and performance relishes in experimentation.

Che Lovelace (he/him) was born in 1969 in San Fernando, Trinidad. He now lives and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Did you know?

Before Lovelace was an artist, he was a champion surfer. He continues to surf today, and says one day he will make more paintings inspired by the surf and wave riding. But for now, he says that because the ocean is “so powerful and so much a part of my life it's also the most daunting to tackle creatively.”

Namedrops

His father is renowned Trinidadian novelist Earl Lovelace. The artist, birth name Cheikh Sedar Lovelace, was named after Senegalese historian-philosopher, Cheikh Anta Diop and Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor. In 2012, he worked with Will Smith to create a series of paintings.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Che Lovelace channels the spirit of home into painting. “My work is generated from where I am. From the space which I inhabit, which is Trinidad – a physical place, a spiritual place, a mental place.” Figuration, still life, architecture, interiors and landscapes amass into rich, colourful compositions that skew depth and perspective – recalling elements of Cubism and Futurism. The artist layers acrylic and dry pigment onto board panels, moving back and forth between painting and drawing. He always works on multiple paintings at a time, helping to “unlock” any creative blocks along the way. While the compositions are intuitive and joyfully energetic, they are constructed slowly over long periods of time.

Performance is an important aspect of the artist’s practice. This impulse is rooted in the Caribbean traditions of Carnival, where he performs annually. In the studio, Lovelace choreographs movement by himself and in collaboration with friends. He photographs and videos these dances and actions then translates them into the spirited figures which appear throughout his oeuvre. Moving towards this performative process over the past decade is one example of how the artist breathes new life into his paintings - the energy in art, for Lovelace, is accessed by avoiding strict formulas.

“I’m not really settled unless I’m trying new things with my work. I’m always pushing to the next thing.” Che Lovelace