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Keren Luchtenstein

Keren Luchtenstein

Biography

Preferred Medium: 
Oil on Canvas
Preferred Style: 
Figurative, Illusionistic, Super-Real
When did you first describe yourself as an artist?: 
While still at school.
Describe your early memories of your emerging talent as an artist?: 
I drew all the time, especially horses which I studied to get their confirmation right. And animals dressed in human clothes. I couldn’t resist making my school drawings comical. My teachers recognised that I’d go to art school.
Formal Training: 
BA Hons Printed Textile Design Middlesex Polytechnic, now Middlesex University 1974-78.
MA RCA 1978-80 Printed textile design.
RCA Major Travelling Scholarship 1980 spent in China
Admired Artists: 
Artemisia Gentilleschi
Vermeer
Raphael
Bronzino
Ingres
Zhang Xiaogang
John Currin
Role of figurative art: 
To take you into a different world, channelled through vision and skill.
Favorite Gallery: 
The National Gallery, London
Other Interests: 
I had always expected I’d study painting at art school but the tutors had other ideas. Being a girl they channelled me into textile design. I had no intention of being a textile designer but I threw myself into screen printing on all materials including paper, plastics and felt which I made into large sculptural clothes. College friend Anish Kapoor described them as ‘wonderful’. I also developed a passion for lino-cut printing which I used to make my line drawings stronger. All through college I kept up my life-drawing practice and have taught life drawing on and off at many colleges ever since and currently for Drawing at Work. After the RCA I worked as a special effects painter at the Henson Creature Workshop. My friend the illustrator Peter Till had suggested I become an illustrator. Using the lino cut printing technique I’d started using at college I had a fifteen year career, working internationally and also publishing children’s books, latterly using gouache. From 1982-1992 I did all the prints, posters, brochure illustrations etc for the Fashion designer Ally Capellino. During this time I had two sons. I was sporadically painting all this time using acrylic paint. In 2005 a seven year contract I ‘d had with a Japanese publisher came to an end and I decided to grasp the opportunity to fulfil my original desire to become a painter. I determined to use oil paint. I was at the RCA with Cas Willing who’s mother Paula Rego was very supportive. I remembered that she had advised me to use oil paint if I started painting as she wished she’d done that. I”ve been painting full time since 2005 and sold over seventy oil paintings ( thirty four to Paul Smith) and numerous life drawings. Interests ( obsessions!) include practicing Tai Chi including sword, learning Chinese on and off, Ancient history especially Greek, specifically Alexander the Great, the 18th century Chinese novel ‘The Story of the Stone” (Hong Lou Meng) by Cao Xueqing. Reading about science, riding.

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