Behind the curtains


Behind the curtains

Thursday, 7 March 2013

by Lita Cabellut

March 7 - 30, 2013

Opera Gallery is proud to announce its new flagship space opening on 52 Wyndham Street this coming March 2013. The space spreads over four floors with more than 4,000 sqf. of exhibition space, resembling the look and feel of a French boutique you may stumble upon on the streets of Paris.

Designed in the spirit of the brand’s headquarters on the iconic Rue Saint Honoré in Paris, the new gallery has ground floor access and a fantastic central location in line with the historic art hub of Hollywood Road and few steps away from the Police station headquarters, soon to be an Arts and Culture magnet of its own.

The new location maintains the brand strategy as a premier destination for art lovers and collectors alike with great visibility and rotating shows. Every floor carries a different design to answer various exhibition needs - a luxurious black floor is fully dedicated to blue chip masterpieces and a multimedia floor is set for digital art. Another floor has a wine bar and entertainment area set for private dinners and exclusive viewing by private

“We are thrilled by our new space and fondly nickname it ‘La Maison d’Opera Gallery,’” says Shirley Yablonsky, Opera Gallery Hong Kong Director, “this expansion proves our commitment and strong ties to Hong Kong and to the region. We have been here since 2004 and were the first international gallery to open in the city. Over the years we showcased major exhibitions by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Fernando Botero and Bernard Buffet and with this brand new space we can continue bringing further exciting exhibitions to a more than ever demanding market. Our new location has a fantastic line up of shows including a Marc Chagall solo exhibition planned for later this year.’’


Debut show in Hong Kong

“Behind the Curtains” represents a voyage through the human emotions. Cabellut is a fascinating artist, successful in conveying human emotions through her portraits, while giving a unique depth to her characters. Her portraits have one major strength: they are the intense reflection of her own story. This fact makes these magnificent paintings so substantial, so thrilling and so rich in psychological impact.

The Spanish expressionist artist Lita Cabellut was born in 1961 to a prostitute mother that abandoned her and condemned her to street life at a young age. She spent her youth living with the gypsies on the streets of El Ravel, Barcelona. Her work holds strong ties with memories from the old area of Barcelona, with closeness to the docks, La Boqueria Market, Las Ramblas and Sant Antoni Market - places full with pickpockets, street performers and of course prostitutes. At the age of thirteen, Cabellut was adopted and a new beginning arrived. Shortly after on a trip to the Prado Museum she discovered Goya, Velázquez, Ribera and Rembrandt. On leaving the museum Cabellut knew being an artist was going to be her future, in her own words: “I married very young, my first marriage was to art.”

Within four years Cabellut got her first exhibition at the Town Hall Museum of Masnou, Barcelona. At the age of 19 she took on a new challenge and left home for the Netherlands. Having heard about the “Dutch light”, Cabellut intended to experience it. Educated at The Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (1982-1984) she was strongly influenced by Dutch portraiture. Her center-focus portraits appearing from dark backgrounds are comparable to Rembrandt and carry the fearlessness of Goya. In 1987, Cabellut had her second solo exhibition at Art et Industrie in the Netherlands. And by 1988, Cabellut’s had achieved her artist reputation and was established enough to earn a living solely from her artistic endeavors.

Cabellut’s unique pictorial language, using a contemporary variation on the fresco-technique and her own personalized 'Cabellut-palette’, was created with the help of laboratories and chemists. Cabellut spent five years researching her special mix of media looking to give her portraits the most realistic skin-like quality. The results of her research are portraits filled with intimacy, striking in their size and scale, creating a deep and powerful visual experience that carry the discipline of Vermeer and yet the sincerity of Francis Bacon. The subject matter is derived from her ongoing dialogue with her canvas “I am more than a painter, I am a storyteller,” she states.

“In her art work there is a strong poetic emotional force, a deep cry, a freedom, courage and strong rhythms,” said the poet and critic Ali Al Amery, “she paints out of music, love, pain and memories…she paints faces wrinkled with tragedies…the wounded light of the human soul.”

Cabellut only paints those that she admires and respects in all aspects, “I want those I paint to be seen in their magnificent state, and in their grandeur.” Among them on display in this show are some of the most influential icons of all times such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin, Billie Holiday and Coco Chanel.