Over the past two years Italian artist Lorenzo Ludi’s work has won admirers from across the world with exhibitions in Italy, Slovakia and the European Parliament in Brussels. Bold, highly expressive, and encapsulating a boundless sense of optimism, the works largely speak for themselves. His father, Alessandro Ludi, says his son refuses to let his disability that keeps him in a wheelchair get in the way of his art. Lorenzo was born with severe brain damage and motor disease that makes speech impossible. His “words”, says his father, are expressed in the language of painting.
Painting from a wheelchair presents a number of challenges. Instead of using brushes, Lorenzo paints with his hands with a limited amount of practical and technical assistance. He uses his eyes to indicate the part of the canvas he wishes to apply the paint, to change colour, and show when the art work is complete.
His father Alessandro explains how he discovered his talent.
“My son started to paint in 2015. He participated in a project run by local painters. In the beginning, he was not able to express himself well because we used the classic methods — brushes, pencils… One day the painter Pietro Bellani put tempera paint in his hands and from that moment, Lorenzo has opened a new world and found a painter inside himself.”
Even though Lorenzo uses some ‘codes’ to express himself in daily life, it is still difficult to understand all his requests. Alessandro is sure that art and creativity help Lorenzo to communicate better with the world.
“Lorenzo’s style is very close to American abstract expressionism and interpretation of his artworks varies from person to person.”
Some of Lorenzo’s artworks have been sold to fund projects helping people living with disabilities and other vulnerable people. Yet, his first painting remains at the house of his proud parents.
“Painters who worked with him have immediately seen an unusual artistic ability in him and they insisted on making a show with his works.”
Both Alessandro and his wife say they will continue to help Lorenzo reach his potential. Volunteers at a local centre occasionally help out, but the bulk of the care happens at home. According to Alessandro, home signifies “membership, a sort of unity of a family.”
“We believe that our lives are dedicated to Lorenzo’s rehabilitation, which has allowed him to improve, despite the devastating conditions he has, and led him to this artistic journey.”
Lorenzo was born in 1988 in the Italian port city, La Spezia. He will be taking part in EUFAMI’s ‘HOME’ exhibition in Brussels in November 2017. He has exhibited in his hometown of La Spezia, the Slovak spa city Piešťany (video), and at the European Parliament.