bio

Painter?
not me… sorry

Luis Levy Lima was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1986, and grew up in a family of cape verdean artists (father, Miguel, and uncles David and Abraham). Interestingly enough, he did not want to be a painter and graduated in graphic design at Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts (like his mother). Yes, he loved to draw and paint since he can remember, nevertheless he knew far too well what it meant to make a living as an artist. Also he wasn’t comfortable with the pressure of having to be a “Levy Lima” lineage artist and he avoided that idea for a long time.
His paintings activities were a “well kept secret” that only his friends and relatives knew about and to whom he offered his works from time to time. It happened for some years, mostly on weekends, while Luis worked on design and advertising for international brands and companies. Painting was a guilty pleasure, a forbidden fruit that he hopelessly tried to avoid. Fortunately he couldn’t help himself and so he did it. Without thinking if he was talented, if he could ever have success or a future as a painter, or anything else really… He just painted because he liked it and he needed to. Painting was his passion and luckily one day it became stronger than anything else.
Since then Luis Levy Lima has also debuted several exhibitions at Hilton Hotel, the National Assembly of Cape Verde, Bienal de Cerveira, Palácio da Cultura Ildo Lobo, Fábrica Braço de Prata and various other galleries and institutions in Portugal and abroad. He is featured in renown museums, institutions and hotels, e.g., Museu do Oriente (Lisbon), the Embassy of Cape Verde in Portugal (Lisbon), Robinson Club Cabo Verde (Sal Island) and Pestana Tropico Hotel (Praia, Cape Verde). He also portrayed several famous figures and his works are part of the private collection of personalities such as Madonna and Luís Represas.
His inspiration and cultural insight comes from charity events and activities that Luis does regularly and that are specially dedicated to children. He does so because he believes everyone should focus on children. Why? Well because “they are the future!” In essence, if you do not have time for them, what do you have time for? What is your purpose in life?
Luis lives in Lisbon and works worldwide.

i’m basically a plant with complicated emotions

Despite being known as a figurative artist, Luis values emotions and stories behind each and every canvas. His subjects vary from childhood memories, to emotion-full animal realm paintings; from music and rhythm  to oral tradition; from secular culture to comic book enthusiasm. All depicted into a multitude of layers with bold and vibrant colours, strong brush strokes and unique transparencies.
Music motifs, as well as tradition and customs, are usually tributes to Cape Verde’s cultural heritage and to his own family. The animal paintings are actually vessels to approach human relationships (marital and family) where the artist targets cliches and taboos and also were he praises women, family and children. With small metaphors and analogies, concealed in the titles of the artworks, Luis wants to challenge stereotypes, mindsets, assumptions and talk about emotions and topics that people often avoid talking about.
However the portrait work is a completely different case where he expresses himself in two very different ways: the tribute strand (e.g., musicians collection) and the memory and childhood strand (e.g., portraits of children). In the first one, as in other paintings of tradition and culture, the artist feels like he has the responsibility to value and immortalise certain traditions and people. It is his mission to make sure that history does not forget them. In the second strand, through children, Luis is actually doing a self-portrait exercise and addressing certain feelings and emotions of his life. The portrayed children are not real but rather the portrait of very real emotions and stories that the artist experienced during his childhood.
His purpose is to be true to himself, to make people feel and get connected with their emotions. He can focus on the hope laying on a child’s eyes, the passion of a musician whilst playing or the love of an animal protecting its kin. There is always an element, an idea or a detail that Luis highlights and where that feeling or emotion is present. Feeling is everything!

cv

curriculum vitae

solo
exhibitions

2020

  • EMOTION & COLOUR – Kunstmatrix – Berlin, Germany
  • EMOTION & COLOUR – Artsper – Paris, France

2019

  • MÚSICOS DE CABO VERDE III – Pestana Trópico Hotel – Praia, Cape Vert

2018

  • MÚSICOS DE CABO VERDE II – Pestana Trópico Hotel – Praia, Cape Vert
  • CONSULADO – Embassy of Cape Vert – Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal
  • II GALA CABO VERDE SUCESSO – Convento do Beato – Lisbon, Portugal

2017

  • MÚSICOS DE CABO VERDE I – Pestana Trópico Hotel – Praia, Cape Vert

collective
exhibitions

 2021

  • DIVINE FÉMININE – Hôtel La Batelière – Martinique

 2020

  • DIVINE FÉMININE – Hotel Martinhal – Quinta da Marinha – Lisbon, Portugal
  • 50 ANOS ACV – Associação Caboverdeana de Lisboa – Casa do Alentejo – Lisbon, Portugal

2019

  • ELOS – Palácio da Independência – Lisbon, Portugal
  • A DIVERSIDADE QUE NOS UNE – Pestana Trópico Hotel – Praia, Cape Vert
  • CINCO – 66 Contemporary Art Gallery – Lagos, Portugal
  • CCCV – Centro Cultural de Cabo Verde em Portugal – Lisbon, Portugal
  • CREOLE – Restaurante Creole – Praia, Cape Vert

 2018

  • VII QUINZENA DA CULTURA CABO-VERDIANA EM LISBOA – Associação Caboverdeana – Lisbon, Portugal
  • ART IN MOTION – Fábrica Braço de Prata – Lisbon, Portugal
  • EXPOSIÇÃO COLETIVA DA XII CIMEIRA DA CPLP – Hilton Hotel – Sal Island, Cape Vert
  • O FUTURO É DAS CRIANÇAS – Cape Vert National Assembly – Praia, Cape Vert
  • NÓS ARTE – Pestana Trópico Hotel – Praia, Cape Vert

 2017

  • 34º BAZAR DIPLOMÁTICO – Centro de Congressos de Lisboa – Lisbon, Portugal
  • XIX BIENAL INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE DE CERVEIRA – VIII Bienal de Jovens Criadores da CPLP – Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal
  • DUAS GERAÇÕES, QUATRO ARTISTAS – Palácio da Cultura Ildo Lobo – Praia, Cape Vert
  • VI BIENAL DE CULTURAS LUSÓFONAS – Centro Cultural de Odivelas/ CMO – Lisbon, Portugal

 2016

  • ÓPERA CHINESA – Museu do Oriente – Alcântara, Lisbon, Portugal

media
& events

2020

  • “AND AFTER THE MASK?” for OBSERVADOR – Portrait for the anniversary cover of Observador magazine – Lisbon, Portugal
  • “BATUKA” for MADONNA – Painting made specially for Madonna. A tribute to Cape Verde and the song “Batuka” from the album “Madame X”. Singer’s private collection

2019

  • “DIA SABE” for Club Robinson – Painting made specially for Club Robinson’s hotel lobby – Sal Island, Cape Vert
  • A EDUCAÇÃO EM CABO VERDE: UM OUTRO OLHAR DE CARLOS REIS – Pedro Cardoso Livraria – Book cover – Praia, Cape Vert
  • DIA DA MORNA – Binter CV – A partnership with Binter CV to celebrate Cape Verde’s cultural heritage – Portrait of the three great voices of Morna (Bana, Cesária Évora and Ildo Lobo)

2018

  • “BOA HORA” para Luís Represas – Portrait of the portuguese musician Luís Represas for his album “Boa Hora” (Good Time in english). Singer’s private collection

charity
events

2017

  • CACHUPA SOLIDÁRIA – D. Pedro V Hotel – Lisbon, Portugal
  • PINTURA AO VIVO – Palácio da Cultura Ildo Lobo – Praia, Cape Vert

2016

  • FRIGO – Fábrica Alcântara Mar – Lisbon, Portugal
  • LONGBOARD AMIEIRA – Encontro Nacional de Longskate – Amieira do Tejo, Portugal

artistic
residence

2016

  • Divin’Art – Divin’Art com Miguelevy – Santo Antão, Cape Vert
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(+351) 916 296 368
art@luislevylima.com

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