Inside the Studio
Abdel Aziz Lourhraz creates harmonious, earthy abstractions
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I am trying to combine elements of the natural world with the female body. Also, I work with the concept of existential consciousness and the body. My goal with my art is to create a harmony, intrigue, and strangeness, which I acheive through the material, the color and the composition.
How did you first get interested in your medium and what draws you to it specifically?
I’ve loved painting since my childhood, which fit well with my meditative personality. This means that superficial things do not tempt me, but I do meditate deeply on things through spending much time listening to my essence. As a result, I try to express the beauty of my spiritual findings within myself through my art. The death of my beloved mother left in my soul a deep love for women, and inspires my love of nature and things that have sprung from it. So, nature is a great artist.
How has your style and practice changed over the years?
It’s normal for an artist to be ambitious. My reading of some philosophers, such as Schopenhauer, has inspired me – especially his philosophy of ‘’willingness,’’ which is a universal concept. I insisted to understand myself within painting and reading Emmanuel Kant’s aestheticist philosophy and through philosophy as whole. The blending of these philosophies has helped me figure out the essence of things from various perspectives.
Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?
Of course. I began with academic studies, which enabled me to master all drawing methods and artistic currents. All these experiences make me an artist who draws effectively and influentially. Later on, I started thinking about creating a style through which I can express my feelings and emotions. This took great effort, much time, and sacrifice. It should be noted that sometimes I work twelve hours continuously to complete one painting. Even after all that time, I sometimes still feel unsatisfied with my artistic works, so I must recreate them. It’s rare that I complete one quickly.
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
It depends on the atmosphere and my character. Sometimes I prefer to work in silence so that I can listen deeply to my soul. Sometimes I am eager to draw and listen to spiritual music. Occasionally I listen to classical musicians such as Chopin, Mozart, Liszt, or Richard Wagner. I also like Spanish music flamingo, and I like Ibrahim Anouar, a Tunisian musician who uses the Oud musical instrument. Needless to say, music is very important to express feelings and emotions. As Nietzsche, the famous philosopher said, “without music, life would be a mistake.”
Who are your favorite writers?
I prefer writers who integrate philosophy; for instance, Albert Camus’ existential and absurd philosophy and Schopenhauer’s last optimistic philosophy. I love reading about the greatest writers, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and the Indian writer Ocho.