A joint exhibition of paintings by local artists Anke Punt Bach and Rui Botto will be inaugurated at Lagoa’s municipal library on Monday, December 11 at 5.30pm.
The collaborative effort will see the two Lagoa-based artists showcasing their creations at the library until January 31, 2024.
Anke and Rui met at the Arco Íris stationery store at the Sudoeste Retail Park in Alcantarilha, where Rui works and where Anke led a series of art workshops.
After getting to know one another, the two artists developed a mutual respect for each other’s art.
Anke – a 58-year-old German artist who has lived and exhibited her works all over the world before moving to the Algarve in 2019 – eventually decided to challenge Rui, 55, to join her for a joint exhibition, given that Rui has not exhibited his works for over a decade.
While Anke has made a name for herself in the region for creating beautiful pieces inspired by the Algarvian coastline and using materials she finds during her hikes, Rui has remained a more reclusive artist, painting what he finds interesting and what fulfils him artistically as more of a hobby.
He describes his art as “homoerotic”, “inspired by colour” and “figurative”, with his goal being to cause an impact on the viewer.
As his works often feature nude male bodies in suggestive or even sexual positions, Rui is well aware that his works might not be palatable to some. But as he explains clearly, he paints solely for himself, and whether others like his works or not is secondary.
“Whether they love it or hate, the goal is to make the viewer feel something,” Rui told us.
Rui, who has also worked as a professional make-up artist, will be presenting 11 paintings on canvas, while Anke will be exhibiting three paintings from her time in Russia, as well as four series of three paintings each – ‘The Red String’, ‘Serenity’, ‘True Color’ and ‘Connection’ – on wood.
For Anke, this exhibition marks a return to painting on wood after years of using materials like rocks that she has found on local beaches to create her artworks.
The name of the exhibition – ‘The Show Goes On’ – aims to represent the changes that both Anke and Rui are experiencing at this moment in their lives, with Rui exhibiting his works again after so long and Anke taking on new artistic challenges.
Anke also hopes that the exhibition may bring more attention to Rui’s work in the Algarve.
“He’s so talented and has a distinct style. If he lived somewhere like New York or Paris, he might be selling out galleries,” Anke added.
‘The Show Goes On’ can be visited during the library’s opening hours: weekdays (excluding holidays) from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm. Admission is free. The artists can also be followed on Instagram: @ankepuntbach @ruibotto_art