Alejandro Hermann is one of Marbella’s best-loved artists, known above all for his spiritual portraits of Buddhist children, displayed in various galleries and finding their most fitting home in the interiors of the serene Shanti-Som retreat in Monda.
The fact that many readers may think these works represent the gamut of his style and range, reveals why the artist was right in deciding to open a brand new gallery/studio, smack bang on the Golden Mile, in the well known Tembo building.
The new gallery will reveal the wealth of styles, subjects and materials he employs, but also unveil his very latest collection: extreme close-up portraits of beautiful Chinese women, on large canvases, which arrest our attention and invite us to delve into the profound Asian culture.
“There is something about the eyes of the people of the Asian countries I have visited that has always fascinated me. There is so much beyond the surface; not everything is as it seems. The eyes of the children you encounter in places like Tibet… these people are so poor yet they are filled with wisdom,” says Alejandro, who is working on a portrait when I arrive at his studio to meet him.
The size of the canvas is grand – 3 x 1.5m to be exact. “This painting will be one of 12 in the new collection.” On the day of my visit, he has just started painting one of two canvases which stand next to each other, both with penciled drawings of his beautiful subjects – one a famous Chinese actress and the other, of a model. The striking eyes, prominent cheekbones and full lips are sensual and inviting.
Alejandro has just begun working on the eyes, I note; from up-close, the number of layers of colour is astounding. What appears in a photograph as a brown eye, comes to life with blacks, browns, blues and a profusion of hues we would never imagine. “There are so many colours in skin – including green!” Alejandro informs me, smiling and warm as he is throughout our interview.
Alejandro began painting Asian subjects over 30 years ago – before that, his themes ranged from skies to children, close-ups of flowers, horses and a plethora of additional animals, including elephants and leopards…
Words Marisa Cutillas / Photography Kevin Horn