We had the good fortune of connecting with Owen Munisamy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Owen, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I always loved drawing and so my parents send me to a private art teacher. After primary school, I went to a dedicated secondary art school called “St Luc” in my home town Liege (Belgium). Followed by university studies at Winchester School of Art (Southampton University, UK).
Art has always been a place where I can escape, find peace and calmness away from the frustrations of life. I am very much encouraged by my friends and family. That boosts me and gives me confidence to look at a brighter future.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
During my university studies, one of my professor suggested to me that I should seek inspiration from my home, my family background, my surroundings. Coming from a musical family, its was thus quite normal that I should look to music, especially to the sculptural forms of wood and brass instruments and their intricate mechanisms. It was in my art school before going to the university in the UK I learned about Biomorphism. Biomorphic: forms or images are ones that while abstract nevertheless refer to, or evoke, living forms as plants and the human body. The biomorphic sculptures of Henry Moore and Surrealism had a big influence on me. My first years of painting were thus spent researching and gradually creating an enigmatic musical ambiguous world with biomorphic forms of musical instruments with human elements, a universe of extremely rich and varied forms which are organic and alive. I like to create an effective centre with a strong intensity where the eye stops to focus, a dark centre from which some elements escape into the light. It is a journey that incites the observer to begin a journey of discovery. In parallel with my oils paintings, I use watercolours. I employed that technique as a base for sketching before my oils paintings. Since conversations in my youth with Marcel Lucas, (family friend and grandfather of my partner) a well-known Belgian watercolour artist, I learnt through his work that watercolours are a real art form in themselves. My watercolours are a long research coming from complex structures to now more delicate and sensitive compositions. My art evolves progressively to more architectural elements and abstract forms.
No, It wasn’t easy after I left university. Trying to earn a living while trying to make myself known as an artist. By painting a lot, I refined my style. When I did my first competition I didn’t get selected at all! It was when I entered international watercolour competitions that I got noticed because of my unusual recognisable style. I have had several exhibitions in Belgium, London UK, New Brunswick (Canada), France and Italy, some collective, some individual. My solo works are in private collections. I just keep believing in my art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I take my friend first to London (UK). We would visit the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern to see some major works by British artists like Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, ect…Take the lift to the top of Tate Modern (the Blayatnik Building) to admire London’s skyline. Go to New Bond Street to visit the modern Art Galleries. I take my friend around the exciting area in East London (Shoreditch and Brick Lane ) for its street-art and to Camden Town market with its street-food and its eccentric shops. Have a pint of English beer in a old rustic pub. Have a lunch time snack in Borough Market. In the Evening, we would go for an Indian meal in Stoke Newington. My friend and I would then take the Eurostar that links the UK with the European continent via the Eurotunnel under the Channel. Our next stop is Brussels (Belgium). Here we would visit the “Grand Place”, Europe’s most beautiful renaissance square, and have a Trappist beer on a terrace of its cafés. Take a tour of Brussel’s most famous Art Nouveau architectural buildings built by the architect Victor Horta, visit the Magritte museum and the comic stip cartoon museum (Belgium is famous for its comic strips like Tintin).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I like to thank my partner Melanie and my family for encouraging me from the beginning of my studies until today. Thanks to the artists who inspired me, my professors from Winchester School of Art and Marcel Lucas. And a big thank you to my Facebook, Instagram followers and art buyers.