Figurative painter Steve Lopes has consistently attracted the attention of critics and collectors with his rich subject matter. His distinctive works are evidence of a large investment of labour and skill, which has made them readily recognisable and highly collectable.
Lopes has travelled extensively, and these paintings are based on his experiences and interactions with people and places that he sees as existing beyond borders. The artist’s work deals largely with the figure in the landscape “My recent body of work largely deals with migration to Australia. My interest in this theme stems from my ethnic background and my paintings deal with aspects associated with assimilation into new territories. In my work I try to describe the importance of family and community and its significance to immigrant groups who must adapt and cope with their new homeland − especially one as harsh and expansive as Australia. Growing up in a multicultural environment provided me with strong subject matter and ideas. They’re mostly concerned with the notion of national identity and reinterpreting the stereotyped ideas of what it is to be Australian. I feel there is a lot still left to be said on these issues in our country’s art and I feel passionate about the subject matter as it’s something
I’ve personally had to come to grips with throughout my life.”
Lopes has exhibited nationally and internationally over more than two decades, staging more than 35 solo shows and undertaking a number of prestigious residencies. He was recently awarded the 2018 Gallipoli Art Prize. He travelled to the former battlefields of the Western Front in France and Belgium in 2017 with 10 other well-known Australian artists and was invited to exhibit works in the touring exhibition Salient – Contemporary artists at the Western Front.
Lopes’s work is held in major public and private collections such as the National Gallery of Australia and the Parliament House Art Collection in Canberra, BHP Billiton, Art Collection Australia, The Bundanon Collection, University of Wollongong Art Collection, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, The University of Melbourne Library, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, Waiheke Regional Gallery in New Zealand, Time Warner Collection in New York, and the Rolls Royce Collection, British Biotech and Winsor & Newton Collection in London.