Considering the monumental scale of his works, it makes sense that Lionel Smit requires not one but two voluminous warehouses in which to ply his trade. The industrial spaces, which stand side-by-side in Strand outside Cape Town, house the prolific artist’s sculpture and painting studios respectively.
Lionel keeps regular nine-to-five hours for the most part, though often works ‘very erratically and during the night and on weekends when the studio is empty. I spend a lot more time here when under pressure,’ he says.
The raw concrete floors and grey walls of this surprisingly orderly studio are a perfect foil for his massive resin-and-bronze sculptures that appear almost like 3D renditions of his painted portrait heads – themselves seemingly ‘constructed’ in bright, bold strokes of pigment.
This excerpt was originally published in HL April 2013