Antonio Lorento's work is a peverse fantastical mix of bambi-eyed girls and S&M kinks, an oddball collision of the cutesy and creepy that alternatly unsettles and charms. The Spaniard has been living in London for the last two years, a period that have seen him breaking out from working to commission on childrens books to pursue his own ideas - which, as it turns out, are very much not for children's books. Lorento is exhibiting at ILLUSTRATED 2016, occuring June 10th-12th. Check a gallery of his work here, read a quick interview below, and pick up tickets and more info on the show over on the ILLUSTRATED 2016 Facebook page here.
Your work often depicts tormented and conflicted characters who also exhibit strangely accepting behaviour, are they intoxicated!? Where does your desire to communicate characters with such feelings come from ?
I really love to create disturbing characters and at the same time try to capture the true essence of their soul the way I see it. In addition I´m also continually inspired by the darkest essence of the human being, I find them more interesting and remarkable.
How has living in London impacted on the work you now create ?
London is a city full of diversity and different cultures, art in London is always developing and changing quickly its great to be continually challenged especially from an artistic point of view. Every experience I've had in London generates a new idea for me and with so much other artwork on display in galleries and on the street you find yourself constantly inspired.
Many of your works unashamedly illustrate various kinks & fetishes. Where do you get your inspiration for your subject matter from and what drives you to create these images ?
Strangely I'm not really a fetish orientated person and to be honest there is not any strong reason why I do this kind of series now. For along time my illustrations were quite naive, illustrating for children's and story comics etc ... I wanted to build my reputation as an illustrator and increase my following. I love fashion photography too and probably was one of the main inspirations to get my new artwork. London is a great place to exhibit my new collection, so that's why I decided to take the plunge and take part in this year's ILLUSTRATED.
You clearly have an ability to build detailed narratives, do you take inspiration from books, plays, historical accounts ?
Definitely yes. I take inspirations from my own experience, traveling, reading books, visiting galleries, people themselves... everything can be a new idea for me. To take inspiration is always necessary when trying to get started on a new piece. When I was living in Rome for 4 months I created an special series for that city. The culture, the buildings, the city in general, was very inspiring for me. The same way London continues to inspire me daily.
Is there a big private collectors market for your work? With the content sometimes being rather controversial do you find this hinders your ability to sell work?
At the beginning I was predominantly producing editorial illustrations and didn't sell any of my own pieces. But as my style moved away from editorial and I started working on more personal surreal pieces people became interested which is when I decided to start sellling prints. I sell prints signed, numbered and hand embellished. Always a maximum 5 copies of each - they will be onsale at this years show.
Do you have a hobby!?
I do have a lot of hobbies. I love sport, travelling, reading, visiting museums... but what I really LOVE to do is to draw while i am watching movies or listening nice music! See you in the Summer!
Tickets and more info on ILLUSTRATED 2016 available over here