top of page
w_DSC_2685.jpg

Rio de Janeiro: artist Miriam Loellmann 

After graduating from Weissensee School of Art in Berlin more than ten years ago, the German-born chose Rio to build her studio and devote herself to her vocation as an artist.

"Here is where my body of work begins."

What does the word 'Rio de Janeiro’ evoke for you?

 

A new chapter that I am proud of.

I chose this city to begin from scratch, arriving with only a suitcase, a clear decision, and a big dream. 

Your first memory of Rio?

 

I fell in love with the name "Rio de Janeiro“ that sound very refreshing to me. It awoke something within me that drew me in like a magnet.

Describe a favorite situation in your everyday life.

 

I love it when I hear the honking of large cargo ships and then go to my veranda to watch them approach Rio or depart for the open sea. The sound and image connect me to the rest of the world while also reminding me of my roots and dreams.

Why Rio?

 

Rio was an intuitive decision. One day, a month before I graduated in early 2013, I had this sudden intuition in my heart; like a lightning strike. I knew I had to go there and it was clearly related to my work. I am glad that I had the enormous courage to take this step.


Moving to Rio de Janeiro had a significant and ongoing impact on my artistic work.
I'm surrounded by plenty of light, a pleasant temperature all year long, a completely vibrant, new color palette with intriguing shapes. I can work well here in Rio and find a lot of inspiration. 

 

Where was your first studio? 

 

My first studio was in Santa Teresa, and I shared it with two Argentine artists. Shortly after arriving in Rio, I received my first commission to create and install a mural in a private villa on a hilltop in Santa Teresa, which required a studio to develop the project. That is where everything began. That gave me direction and a task.

 

What is your favorite work that you have created in Brazil thus far?

 

My favorite are the Concrete Cubes, which I created by accident in São Paulo while testing concrete for a commissioned project. I had an ice cube mold that I found in a kitchen shop and used to pour various concrete tests. The end result was incredible, and I was fascinated from the start. Then, three years later, I cast the Cubes in plaster and started to create compositions with them, which I refer to as "gesso paintings" (gesso = plaster in Portuguese) because I developed a technique for casting plaster so that it looks painted. I adore these works because I enjoy the process of creating them.

Miriam Loellmann, gesso painting 1_6271.jpg

gesso painting 1:Summer in Rio, 2020/2022, 122.5 x 99 cms

web_p1 detail3.jpg

Describe how you began your journey in Rio following your graduation from art school.

It was only 6 months after graduation that I arrived in Rio at the end of 2013 and began my career as an artist. I still felt like a student, insecure, and had no idea where to start or what to do. Besides, I didn't knew anyone in this city. Initially, I experimented extensively in various fields such as architecture, design, fashion, and art, all of which were strongly influenced by my time as a student in Berlin. I created the Concrete Cubes table to participate in a design fair. At first, it seemed like a way for me to display my work in public. However, when I installed my booth, I felt out of place and realized that this was not the field for me.

In mid-2018, I felt I needed to make a decision about which field I wanted to pursue, and I decided to position myself in the Arts - the only field where I knew I belonged - but I was afraid of the world. For the first time, I consciously chose "to be" an artist, and my work has changed dramatically since then.

2016 Pier Mauá.png

Miriam Loellmann at her booth during the first participation at the art and design fair, ArtRio / IDA 2016, Pier Mauá, Rio de Janeiro

What is the focus of your work?

I'm interested in the expression of absolute clarity, as well as the power and silence that comes with it. The most important factor here is the inner work on myself. To express clarity, I must first be in clarity. My works are an honest and direct reflection of my development. 


How does your work stand out? 

Perhaps the way I do most of my works, with the exception of paintings: they are mostly made up of small parts in often different and contrasting materials that I prepare for several days and weeks before arranging on a "wooden canvas" to create a geometric composition.

Tapis du Rêve, Miriam Loellmann.jpg

Tapis du Rêve 1, 2018, 94.5 x 66 cms

Working on 'Tapis du Rêve 3', Studio Copacabana, 2023

How did you get involved with art? 

I grew up in an artistic family and environment, where creative expression was a daily practice and was encouraged by my parents and siblings. Painting and crafting have always been a natural way for me to express myself. Since I was a child, I created what I lacked with my imagination and the materials I could find nearby.

 

However, I had never considered a career as an artist. I had a difficult time during my studies, experiencing a lot of resistance and anger, and was much more interested in sports. But art has always been a part of me, allowing me to express myself authentically and keeping me from losing myself entirely.


Where do you get your inspiration?

As Karl Lagerfeld once stated in an interview, "It's difficult to say exactly where inspiration comes from."  It can originate from anywhere. Very suddenly, consciously and unconsciously. I am a very sensitive person who observes and perceives a lot. But there are a few things that I find very stimulating, such as boats of any kind, water, swimming pools, modern architecture, Japan, tennis, violins, and memories of my grandparents' modern house and style, to name a few.

Describe a unique experience in Brazil.

There are many, but one that stands out to me is meeting Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan in 2015. He was a reference and one of my favorite architects during my studies, and I hoped to meet him one day to show him my work. My friends in Rio said, 'Forget it. Everyone wants to meet Marcio Kogan. You will not get an appointment with him.' I packed my work samples in a suitcase and arrived at his office in São Paulo without an appointment. The secretary was very nice to me and gave me his email address so I could contact him directly, which I did on a street corner near his office. The following week, I sat with his assistant in his beautiful office, and a few minutes later, she personally called him in. That's how I met Marcio Kogan, who was thrilled with my Concrete Cubes. This situation taught me to always follow my intuition and my own way of doing things, and not to listen to anyone who tells me, "This won't work," because I didn't try it myself first.

What are the most important aspects of your artistic career?

Self-determination. 

To have the courage to express myself in a self-determined way rather than conform to what is popular or in demand at the time. That, I believe, is the most important and sometimes difficult thing to do, especially during the low phases of the path, when you are easily distracted and seek any form of security. 

Miriam Loellmann_0622.jpg

São Paulo, 2018

Studio, Rio de Janeiro, 2023

Describe your current work style.

I am currently interested in developing a working style that allows me to feel autonomous, independent, and free to express myself authentically. It is critical to me to maintain my own free space in which my work can develop at its own rhythm and pace, unaffected by outside influences.

 

Since 2022, I've been experimenting to use my living space as a private showroom, inviting both international and local audiences to experience my body of work in the tropical environment in which it was created. From time to time, I rehang the works and create a new interplay between different artworks from my archive, primarily to study my work and process, but also to provide access to my work in my own unique way, via short films and the option of a personal visit. I prioritize direct communication with my clients, art collectors, and art lovers.

What do people enjoy most when they visit your showroom?

When people enter the room, they are amazed. They first enjoy and breathe in the light-filled atmosphere of the bright and clear space, and they are astounded by the diversity and difference of my work while also recognizing the coherence and connection of the works to one another, as well as the process involved. They are fascinated when I tell them that I make everything myself, from start to finish. Many people appreciate the opportunity to see artworks in a living space because it allows them to imagine them in their own home. They also enjoy learning about my studio, which is located in an adjoining room and wonder why it is so small.

La Nouvelle, Miriam Loellmann.jpg

Private Showroom, La Nouvelle, 2022, 123 x 119.5 cms

Describe yourself in three words.

Hardworking. Quiet. Persistent.

Describe Rio in three words.

Beautiful. Complicated. Unique.

w_IMG_9054.jpg

The works of Miriam Loellmann can be seen in her showroom in Rio de Janeiro. 

A big selection of her artworks are available for purchase. Discover the right piece for you here.

A visit is possible by appointment almost all year round.

Please do not hesitate to contact Miriam Loellmann for further questions. 

Credits of photos and videos, from top to bottom: 1. Allan Benigno. 2, 3, 4. Miriam Loellmann. 5. Allan Benigno. 6. Miriam Loellmann. 7. Allan Benigno. 8, 9, 10, 11. Miriam Loellmann. 12, 13. Allan Benigno. 14, 15, 16. Miriam Loellmann.

bottom of page