Serge Porwizur is a Brazilian born Ashkenazi Jewish painter based in Brussels. He lived and exhibited in South America, Belgium, France, and participated in a variety of benefit auctions, particularly for the RAMBAM Hospital in Haifa, Israel.
He is a graduate of Decorative Arts and Decorative Painting who successfully presented his work in front of the State Jury of the Brussels Capital Region; he gives us the character of his career and his values.
Grace, elegance, refinement of the line, robustness of features, in a few everything is said; and their logic is incalculable.
Expressions miraculously restore the measure of a soul.
Mysticism, introspection, enigma and intuition, are very present in the work.
The traced looks are an invitation to travel. Their aptitudes are confusing. They reveal themselves majestic, deep, imbued with mystery and alone responsible for an experience that challenges us.
Figurative art is dear and natural to him. His own emanates a sometimes crude automatism, for it is the feeling that prevails over accuracy.
To render, what escapes the eye. Extract the magic of the world, the expression of the secret life of things, beyond any functional character.The almost sensual taste of the pictorial material prevails over the intellectual inclination to organize the reality.
He participates in the companies: Artsy and Recreational Enterprises – Perseus Gallery based in New York City.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My late father, Maurice Prowizur, was a professional painter as well. He received his distinction from the Academy of Architecture and Fine Arts of Brussels. As a child, and teenager, it didn’t interest me. Today I regret it terribly that I don’t have the opportunity anymore to talk with him about painting.
This said, I must have been unconsciously immersed in the world of painting my entire life. I can still feel my father’s presence and smell the fragrances of his workshop. It was much later that I immersed myself into the world of pictorial art. The reason here for was that this training allowed me to avoid learning Dutch, which did not interest me when I was 15.
I was 15 years old when I started my pictorial art training; it was then when I was infected with the virus, a virus which no one knows how to get rid of it. I had excellent professors who did not just give me the taste, but the bases, the keys of this discipline, and this is why I admire those famous masters of painting. I was immediately seduced by the language of pictorial art – and today, I believe that there exists a common language within the different expulsions of art; like a common denominator that escapes us, yet is present in the different forms of art. This said, painting is the only expression of art that does not benefit from the element of surprise. I am moving away from the question.
After successfully finishing my training and presenting my work to the Jury of the State of Brussels, I chose a different way of living and went on long trips. I also had to make money in order to support my family; but the artist holds a sacred fire in him. Between my internal drive and the encouragements of a Parisian artist-friend of mine, Florence Moati Goeta, I picked up my brushes and canvasses, and I immersed myself yet again into creation.
So, my first painting I have created within a few hours and sold it as soon as it appeared on Social Media. My painting was much appreciated. This is what encouraged me to continue. Now, I do not exist without painting. I wouldn’t be able to live without painting. This is my way of existing, of communicating, to share life with people.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I feel within me the beauty, the subject; the experience and its extension. I also need to trace it. I have an almost carnal relationship with the subjects and my material. Well, I feel the need to put in place what is born in my mind. Moreover, sharing it. We are all artists. It wouldn’t make sense to keep a work a secret, not to show it. Pablo Picasso (I do not compare myself to this genius) once said: “A work must shock the audience.”, I feel what he meant. Even if my subject is calm, I want to create a moving sensation within people.
He also said: “Nature gives us information … Do not transcribe them just as a typist, a scribe … No, get in, jostle and take your space.”
I am not a portraitist, I do not paint “from nature”. It was useful 500 years ago; there was no camera. Today, thanks to the impressionist revolution, modern painting goes beyond reality, which makes it more powerful.
There is this need in me: to recreate, to elevate reality, to reinterpret it in dreamlike worlds in which the message will be all the more powerful. And then simply, the love of visual aesthetics, the game of the equilibrium, the mass of colours, imbalances.
The game is exciting and each piece is a fight between you and your canvas. The work often leads you into different directions than those you had planned; you have to follow, immediately reinterpreting, and the result will surprise you. We can not afford to “miss” … The equipment is too expensive.
What is your specialty?
The expression of eyes.
Everything is in the eyes, the faces; the stage directors in imaginary and dreamlike worlds. I like capturing the soul of the character or the synagogue or … The subjects must be strong.Basically, I work with acrylic paint because it dries quickly but, sometimes, I like to integrate objects, or other materials, such as written pages, for example.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
I work in my studio in the European quarter of Brussels. Of course, I need all the basic material. But, what is equally essential, is also being very close to a source of water and I need LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT …. A LOT OF LIGHT. I also need a hand and a 100% stable body language. I work with 1/4 mm brushes. So, I need the precision of a surgeon or a dentist. This is why, among other things, why I no longer drink alcohol and stopped smoking. I admire our elders who, at the time, had not only to paint, but also make their own colours, their materials … there was no material like today!
The old masters had no other way than to enjoy the natural daylight. (Michelangelo was working with candles on his hat!) I do not let myself go: almost … Painting takes a diabolic accuracy and I try to stay as academic as possible.
Art is the only part of humanity that persist.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
I never copy anything that I see. Everything comes from what I have accumulated within me and everything is born from inside of me. I am inspired by people, the mysticism, the introspection, the expression of people living. I like to mix them in a dreamlike atmosphere, spatial, or even surreal. Like Rabbis, they have something unique.
What projects are you currently working on?
I think about setting up a studio for those who want to indulge into painting: adults and/or children, because, in general, I like to teach what I know. Children are real geniuses when it comes to pictorial painting. For example: naturally, they break down the objects into their facets, as Picasso initiated. They show you the six sides of a cube in one blueprint. But they do it naturally to the subject.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
This is a question, that isn’t easy to answer. Because the pictorial image calls for many components, even in simplicity. Let’s say that I believe the work is finished, when the message is completed and there is nothing more to add.
Personally after a while, I see mistakes in my work, but I can not go back. So, I hasten to start the same work without this mistake (as to catch up with the previous canvas) … Then it seems to me like another mistake. I am rarely satisfied with my work. I see the mistakes. Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Know how to get away from your work because when you come back, your judgement will be safer.”
I’ve read recently that with new techniques, we could detect 48 layers of retouching on the “Mona Lisa”. I must also say that I often repeat the same theme, because I have to respond to orders.
Do you do bespoke work?
Yes, I accept custom orders. However, I prefer not to do too many as I would have to work with a list of “specifications” I have to run through, while sometimes / often the work takes another direction.
There is no space for a new interpretation, or well, there is almost no space. Because it is impossible to exactly reproduce the same thing. I always warn the customer that there will be a difference.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
The first painting I ever sold was a Rabbi. I sold it to a Muslim colleague of mine. Afterwards, he requested another painting with the same dimensions of an IMAM. He wanted to put them next to one each other. An action like this may drive peace between the people, much as politics.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
I really liked by exhibition at the European Commission in CEE at the Berlaymont in Brussels in 2017.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
When I paint, I give 300%. Each of my paintings is like a baby for me. I hope to touch the audiences’ sensitivity. Touch people’s souls.
I want to convey something beautiful. And if I get recognition, it will mean that my goal is reaching out to others. We artists work to communicate. So, I hope to reach as many people as possible.
The art of painting is a very difficult art to sell (in the sense of communicating with others). In fact, music you can download for a few euros. It is the same for a book. People take the emotion for a few euros and can sell to millions. With a painting though, you only have one, an original. It is therefore a very precious object that cannot be sold at a low price.
But, not a single person downloading music or buying a book can ever say: “I own the original and the unique.”
Where can we find your work?You can easily find me. You can simply “type”: – Serge Prowizur – into Google. Among other website, you will find the following:
Wikipedia Serge Prowizur
Wikipedia Liste de peintres belges
© Serge Prowizur