This artist paints masterpieces with wine — take a look
“Wine is bottled poetry,” as the saying goes, but for one Bolivian artist, it is much, much more.
“In its pure form it is so fluid it is almost impossible to control,” said Edgar Lizarazu Shiosaky, a South American artist I met at this year’s London Wine Fair, adding the exposure he gained at the show was one of the “best experiences” of his life to date. Shiosaky doesn’t believe in conforming to tradition when it comes to materials, and his current obsession is red wine.
It may be too light to use as an ordinary paint, but Shiosaky just needs the pigment; derived from grape skins which, he claims, are the best tool for “reflecting the beauty of the grapes and creating truly beautiful art.”
Born in Bolivia in 1963, Shiosaky spent his younger years living and working in his home country, but moved to his parents’ native Japan in 2001 to peruse a career as a graphic designer.
It wasn’t until 2011 that he discovered a secondary use for red wine. Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz and Malbec produce deep purple tones, while burnt orange hues are extracted from Tempranillo and Sangiovese.
The wine world often preaches of the impact of climate and soil composition, the terroir, on a varietal wine’s taste and texture, but the artist’s work also varies from grape to grape, and region to region.
“The study of grape varieties and the resulting different shades ensure endless results ,” he said. “A Cabernet from France will shimmer so differently to a Cabernet from Chile that it is impossible to discern the same grape variety has been used.”
For Shiosaky, the complexities of red wines produced anywhere in the world are best shown on a canvas. Oxidation, he said, deepens the pigments, meaning even after they are completed, his art continues to mature with age.
While most of his works focus on landscapes or people, some focus on the key ingredient itself.
“Each day is an experiment – trying different techniques to best eliminate the unnecessary elements, and extract the true beauty of the pigments within.”
Shiosaky’s work has has taken him to events around the world, both within the drinks trade and on its periphery. Today, he is back in the UK with a stall at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where he is teaming up with Santa Rita Estates to show guests how his pieces come to life, but this weekend he’s heading to Dorset for yet another wine festival.
In 2017 he moved to the UK, and said he is “enjoying the inspirational landscapes, evening skies and the British love of wine.”