Portrait Of The Artist: Roman Lokati

As his latest exhibition, ‘People In The City’, opens at our Borough Yards shop in London, the artist talks to us about getting inspiration from the everyday, making people realise they cannot live without art and how, in another life, he’d be a magician.

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Perhaps the first thing you notice about Roman Lokati’s singular style is how much energy it has. And that’s as much true about the artist himself as it is about his work. His excitement when discussing his work – and what inspires it – is palpable. Based primarily on human observation in bustling metropolises, his pieces do an excellent job of capturing the vibrancy and dynamism of everyday life.

It's not just people that he finds inspiring though – the city itself is as much a subject in his work and provides endless fuel for his imagination. “We appreciate living in a city. It has many, many stories [to tell]. The city is very important,” he explains. “London is a window for art, for shows, for music. We have a lot of opportunity here. It’s a stunning city.”

Focusing on an abstract style for the first time in his career, the paintings are riotous with colour ­– a representation, we’d argue, of his own infectious enthusiasm. That’s also why he’s never shied away from trying something new, whether it’s a fresh medium or experimenting with a different style. “I’m full of energy all the time. My mind is full, you know? Sometimes I can’t stop,” Roman says. “It’s very, very exciting for me. Every day, everything is new.”

Why did you become an artist?

I become an artist because l don’t know how to do anything else, from a very young age l felt the attraction of drawing and creating worlds, with painting l invent a better world.

Why do you work primarily in your medium?

I work mainly in painting and drawing but in recent years l felt the need to take out my works in sculpture, but l really like working in any medium, especially linocut and watercolour.

Where do you find inspiration?

I take inspiration on the street, at underground stations, train and airports, there is lot of inspiration on the London streets. Also in my own experience, my life between London and Spain, emigration, refugees, travellers, and walkers.

How would you describe your work?

My works are related to people and their environment by means of representing individuals, animals or objects, minimized and synthesised in their profiles or silhouettes, and in their daily activities.

My works are of clean and fine profile, containing a mixture of irony, social criticism and philosophical reverie, and are the result of a meticulous process of years of research and experimentation with various disciplines, including photography, printmaking, painting and I use other techniques such as digital and graphic art.

How does being an artist affect your outlook on life?

Art can transform our lives. When we connect with art, we are ultimately connecting with our inner selves. Art enables us to look within and to listen to ourselves, realise who we are, and what we are, and what we care about.

It connects us to our thoughts, feelings, perfections, and our outer realities and experiences.

How do you feel while you’re working? What’s going through your mind?

When l paint l feel free, strong and safe.

Do you have a particular routine or any “rituals” when you’re working?

I need to be calm alone, and l like to listen to classical music… especially Gregorian Songs.

What does your typical working day look like?

Get up… coffee, warm up sketch, check my emails, check my social media messages. Upload warm-up sketches to different social media outlet. Start working on an idea or continue sketches that l had forgotten and work on them.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do and why?

I would have to be a magician… because l really liked the idea of making things appear and disappear.

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