Lorenzo Belenguer
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Lorenzo Belenguer is an arts writer, an artist and an arts manager. Having founded the Rogues Gallery, an artists’ group which exhibited in vacant shops, he then went on to successfully run the Gallery at Willesden Green for six years.

Lorenzo, as an artist, transforms metal objects into sculptures that evolve from the visual rhetoric of Minimalism and double as ‘canvases’. Belenguer is like a hunter who trawls the city for found objects, sometimes sourced as locally as the back garden of the studios' church. This use of found objects can also be seen metaphorically in his series of drawings based on fashion adverts. Within this series he finds and focuses on the individual within those fashion adverts. These drawings were selected for a group show at the Tate Modern in May 2010.

Lorenzo Belenguer Artworks

Link to B/Art Channel Interview

Lorenzo has been involved in numerous arts projects, with funding from the Arts Council, Awards for All, Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund with many projects recommended by the BBC, The Guardian and Timeout magazine to their viewer and readership as part of their exhibitions must sees for London.

Belenguer created TESTIMONIES in response to London residents looking to have a more active role in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and aims to empower conversation about this historic event, to compare with the 1948 Olympic Games and provide a legacy. TESTIMONIES records Londoners’ personal stories and expectations about the 1948 Olympic Games and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information please visit the website:

http://www.LondonersTestimonies.com

Entries by Lorenzo Belenguer

Parasol Unit: The Best in Contemporary Art in East London Hackney Run by a Visionary

(0) Comments | Posted 8 December 2014 | (13:04)

In 2004, when everybody wanted to be in Mayfair and Fitzrovia, Ziba Ardalan, born in Iran, whose career was developed between the US and Switzerland, arrived from New York and decided to found a contemporary art organization in the far end of the cosy central London. A Victorian furniture factory, which were the studio of the Turner Prize nominee Peter Doig by that time, has become the home of one of the best places in London to experience contemporary art made today. Acclaimed artists such as Charles Avery, who represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale, or Leah Capaldi, who performed at the Serpentine Galleries last summer and described Ardalan as her "fairy godmother", exhibited at Parasol unit first.

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Shinro Ohtake, 'Time Memory 28' (detail), 2014. 220.5 x 300.5 x 10.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo

The current show by Shinro Ohtake ends on the 12th of December. Ohtake, one the leading artists in Japan, moves easily from drawing to video, from installation to sculpture, but his collage works, be it on a panel, be it on three-dimensional objects, are perhaps his strongest form. He has the sharp ability to absorb elements of the contemporary Japanese society and spit it out into a journey of discovery and learning when admiring his works.

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Katy Moran, 'Joe's in Town', 2012, acrylic, paper, leather and collage on board, 55.2 x 87.6 cm. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneopolis, Justin Smith Purchase Fund 2013.

The next exhibition by the London-based painter Katy Moran, which opens on the 15th of January, is a rediscovery of a traditional medium such as painting. Although abstract at first glance, Moran portrays figures that requires a closer look and an interesting narrative, invented by the viewer and therefore unique, unravels. Her paintings are beautifully fluid and like a good painter plays with the subconscious on a different level.

Ziba Ardalan, founder and curator of Parasol unit, kindly agreed to respond to the following questions:

1. Can you tell us a bit about Parasol unit? Where did the name come from? And why in Hackney?

I wanted to give it a general name and not the name of a specific person. This place is about making people welcome. I thought of 'umbrella', because it encompasses various activities we do here, but it seemed a bit sad, so I opted for 'Parasol'. It is positive and radiant but all by itself misses something, so when a friend suggested 'unit', it clicked. The two words somehow complement each other perfectly and express what this foundation is about: promoting contemporary art for the public benefit, a welcoming residency for artists in the summer and an important educational element. Hackney reminded me of SoHo in New York in the 70s before it became fashionable as it is happening now here.
2. What is your background? What was your PhD about?
I think I was born as a curator, although I first studied Physical Chemistry and did post-doctoral works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Somehow there was always a creative side and an analytical side in me. So, after two years of working in scientific research, I decided to move from science to art. Scientists and artists are quite similar, because intuition is a crucial part of their work. This has always been very important to me as a curator - when selecting artists and their works for an exhibition or the timing of their exhibition. Anyhow in the early 1980s I went to Columbia University, NY, to study and gained a Masters degree in Art History. This was followed by attending the Independent Study Programme (ISP) for Curating and where I had Vicente Todolí, the former director of the Tate Modern, as a classmate. In 1984, I curated a show about the American painter, Winslow Homer, who started in the late nineteenth Century as a genre painter and moved to almost abstraction in the early 1900s. Homer's works were all over East Coast of America, so I had to travel to small museums and private collections to convince them to lend works to the exhibition - it was a great experience for a first time curator.

3. At the last charity auction, artists such as: Antony Gormley, Isaac Julien and Yinka Shonibare were very complimentary about Parasol unit. How do you feel about it? What do you think it is the reason?

I am humbled and honoured by those wonderful comments. My passion for art is genuine and I suppose that could be one of the factors artists appreciate. I work very hard to give those artists exhibiting at Parasol unit great exposure and I am willing to take risks when exhibiting lesser known artists. It is very encouraging to continue when I have the support of such talented and successful artists.

4. Can you summarise in three phrases why people should come to see the show by the Japanese artist Shinro Otake before it ends on the 12th of December?

I love the freedom with which Ohtake executes his works, even after having exhibited at prestigious events such as Documenta or Venice Biennale, indeed he carries on as usual. It is a lesson that an artist or a non-artist can apply to their practice, job or even in their daily life: freedom of thoughts. This exhibition shows his creativity and confidence and is a unique opportunity to discover why he is one of the leading Japanese artists.

5. Finally, can you give us an advance of the next exhibition? Why did your team decide to invite Katy Moran?

Although Moran has only ten years of painting practice behind her, I love the innovative way she goes about painting. Moran has absolutely no allegiance to the history of painting and in the process has created a whole new language, particularly in figurative painting.

For more information about Parasol unit, the current exhibition by Shinro Ohtake and the next exhibition by Katy Moran, please visit the website

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The Best Art From London Invited to Exhibit in Pune

(0) Comments | Posted 4 December 2014 | (13:57)

Rekha Sameer, an artist and curator based in London, and Rashmi Tapadia, founder and owner of LetArtWork Gallery in Pune, decided to select the most interesting art being made in London today and to bring it to India. Both countries enjoy close ties and Sameer and...

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The Gospel According to the Other Mary: The Best of Talent in Music, Opera and Dance

(0) Comments | Posted 26 November 2014 | (12:55)

The Gospel According to the Other Mary, being the other Mary the composer's mother and other social activist women, composed by John Adams and currently at the English National Opera until the 5th of December, is without doubt the masterpiece of the 21st century. Premiered in concert in 2013, it received a string of superlatives when reviewed, but nothing gets you ready to the immense experience of what the best of talent, second to none, can offer you. As John Berry, ENO artistic director, says:

"Nothing prepared me for the overwhelming dramatic intensity of the music and the profoundly moving storytelling."

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Courtesy Richard HubertSmith, the photographer, and ENO

John Adams, one of the leading contemporary music and opera composers, creates humanist and visually stunning pieces that perfectly resonates in an era of discontent and widening social inequality. A highly respected and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 9/11 Memorial piece, Adams concentrates on what it matters with a strong minimalist approach. The baggages are dumped and he is ready to take you for the journey of your life.

Libretto by Peter Sellars after Old and New Testament sources, intertwined with the voices of four extraordinary women: a Native American woman, a Black American woman, a socialist Catholic woman and a Mexican woman all contribute to a rich and dense text rooted in contemporary history. Sellars, a visionary artist, is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in the world. Sellars described the work as an attempt to "set the Passion story in the eternal present, in the tradition of sacred art", and so the narrative continuously attempts to combine the Biblical past with themes and references that remain relevant to a contemporary audience - such a drug addict going cold turkey. The story unfolds from the point of view of Mary Magdalene, her sister Martha and their brother Lazarus.

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Courtesy Richard HubertSmith, the photographer, and ENO

Mezzo-soprano, Patricia Bardon, plays the main character of Mary Magdalene with vulnerability, determination and skilful acceptance of the events that unravels such as her brother Lazarus death and resurrection and Jesus crucifixion. Bardon gives a superb performance with ease. A talented star with no ego. Meredith Arwady, contralto, sings with a beautiful and exquisite voice her dilemmas in understanding her sister Mary Magadalene's destiny. Russell Thomas, a tenor playing Lazarus, their brother, is sublime. His voice makes time stop and takes us to a new dimension. One of the undisputed stars of the show is the flex dancer Banks. A visual orgasm. Guaranteed. Banks blends with the music as if it was composed for him. Unexpected, because flex dance is primarily associated with hip hop music. A refreshing surprise in a more classical setting. Finally, Seraphim, a type of celestial being, played by the counter-tenors: Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings and Nathan Medley, adds a layer of storytelling with such airy voices. Conductor Joana Carneiro, currently Principal Conductor of Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa, makes a great debut.

One of the best and most accessible operas ever. Highly recommended.

The Gospel According To The Other Mary opens at the London Coliseum on 21 November 2014 for 6 performances - 21, 25, 27 November and 3, 5 December at 7.30pm and 29 November, 6.30pm. For more information, please visit website:

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Spanish and Indian Dance Fusion at Sadler's Wells

(0) Comments | Posted 4 November 2014 | (13:37)

TOROBAKA, meaning bulls and cows in Spanish as the sacred animals in Spain and India, is the latest collaboration between two titans in contemporary dance: Akram Khan and Israel Galván. Both highly admired,...

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ArtRooms To Coincide With The London Art Fair

(0) Comments | Posted 28 October 2014 | (18:14)

Frieze is the highlight of the London arts scene. For a week the good and rich come here for a jamboree of cocktails, talks, networking and art. However, for the rest of us with less deep pockets The London Art Fair in January provides with an...

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Why I Make Cocaine

(0) Comments | Posted 14 October 2014 | (17:16)

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Eternity #8 by Lorenzo Belenguer. Courtesy the artist.

Cocaine are a new series of sculptures where the base looks like Cocaine. It has been much in the media lately. Justine Picardie popularised the term cocaine Conservatives in a very interesting

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Human Suffering at Times of Crisis Art Show in Notting Hill

(0) Comments | Posted 8 October 2014 | (18:25)

Barry Martin, a Goldsmiths graduate with artworks in the Tate collection, and Samir Ceric, the director of the Debut Contemporary art gallery in Notting Hill, decided to join forces...

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Puccini's Less Known Western Opera Opens at the ENO

(0) Comments | Posted 3 October 2014 | (19:01)

Puccini, who has been called as the greatest Italian composer after Verdi, enjoys some of the most celebrated operas such as: La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Turandot. Music and plots that remains in everybody's...

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Premonition: Artists Ability to Foresee the Future at the Saatchi Gallery

(0) Comments | Posted 30 September 2014 | (17:54)

Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now, which opens on the 9th of October, will take over one entire floor of the Saatchi Gallery and features work that has been made recently, but mostly pre-dates the social unrest and upheaval that Ukraine has experienced during 2014. However, the title acknowledges that...

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Xerxes: Handel's Baroque Opera With a Minimalist Presentation

(0) Comments | Posted 17 September 2014 | (17:46)

In 1985, Nicholas Hytner, current director of London's National Theatre, presented a very imaginative version of Handel's Xerxes. His minimalist approach to a Baroque opera became a pivotal moment on how Handel was...

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Urban Sketchers at Covent Garden (and How to Become One)

(0) Comments | Posted 9 September 2014 | (16:54)

Urban sketchers and the small black notebook became inseparable since artists such as Picasso and van Gogh and writers such as Hemingway started using them in Paris at the beginning of the last century. A notebook is a battery that stores ideas and feelings, releasing its energy over time. Unfortunately,...

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Present Iranian Art at Debut Contemporary

(0) Comments | Posted 3 September 2014 | (01:52)

Debut Contemporary, an Art Gallery based in Notting Hill, is always keen to invite artists from outside Europe. Sassan Behnam Bakhtiar, a multitalented Renaissance artist from Iran, is a clear example to the gallery's aim. His works portray a different Iran than the one been seen...

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Glyndebourne: A Countryside Operatic Experience (Sheep Included)

(0) Comments | Posted 12 August 2014 | (15:52)

Glyndebourne is to opera what Glastonbury is to pop music. A summer festival that becomes an opportunity to experience the best in the classical music arena and to have a good time while having a picnic. The appreciation of the sheep is optional.

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Five Artists at Debut Contemporary in Notting Hill

(0) Comments | Posted 8 August 2014 | (12:28)

Architects, graphic designers, textile designers, playwriters, illustrators, they all have something in common: they are all cosmopolitan visionaries. Debut Contemporary selects its artists with substance, with an edge, articulate and at the same time accessible. Every time you enter the space in Notting Hill, you immerse yourself in...

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Buy An Original Damien Hirst Painting for Just £1

(0) Comments | Posted 15 July 2014 | (03:08)

Twenty years ago, you could have bought an original Damien Hirst painting for just £1 now worth a fortune. He and Angus Fairhurst dressed as clowns and produced the first spin paintings at the fete. A Fete Worse than Death, was an anarchic swipe at the notion of...

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Carne Griffiths at Debut Contemporary: A New Romantic

(0) Comments | Posted 18 June 2014 | (12:19)

Carne Griffiths is a Romantic with a capital R. His unorthodox use of materials such as tea, alcohol and ink creates a language that talks directly to the heart. Layers and layers of pure beauty remind us of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Their zest for life, abundant detail, intense...

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Antonio Pozo: One of the Top Artists at the Art Fair in Chelsea

(0) Comments | Posted 9 June 2014 | (20:08)

The Untitled Artists Fair took place in Chelsea in the Old Town Hall in Kings Road last May. An exciting selection of 170 artists under one roof responds to the current trend of allowing collectors and art lovers to directly talk to the artist and to benefit from...

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Top Four Gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014

(0) Comments | Posted 19 May 2014 | (13:36)

Gardening, caravans and country walks reflect key elements of British culture because of a passionate love of nature. And it is at its most fashionable at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, CFS, opening on the 20th of May. A catwalk of colour and creativity, the brightest new ideas,...

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Tahnee Lonsdale at Debut Contemporary

(0) Comments | Posted 15 May 2014 | (12:02)

Tahnee Lonsdale is a painter with a fearless approach to colour. They tell stories of life with its ups and downs, of success, but ultimately they are about the fragility that makes us humans. A search unravels in each painting. They become an invite to witness a piece...

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Thebans: Opera Premier of Sophocles' Three Tragedies. An Instant Classic.

(0) Comments | Posted 5 May 2014 | (23:04)

Thebans is based on the three Theban plays by Sophocles - Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone, which chronicle the cursed life of the mythical monarch Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. The three plays are reworked as three acts, and retold in non-chronological order, focusing on the death...

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