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Alvīne Bautra: Time, Movement, and the Human Condition

When You Move, I’m Moved

Alvīne Bautra, an oil painter living in Latvia, creates surreal and time-bending scenes laced with moody femininity and endearing darkness, distorted faces mingle with light in juxtaposition, fading away and replicating, subtly rearranging the laws of physics and nature with the artist’s uniquely eccentric style.

"Anna" by Alvīne Bautra, acrylic on canvas, 2017

Alvīne became interested in art at 15 years old. Wanting to study architecture at the time, she attended art classes to study drawing at the Riga Building College, Department of Architecture, with no intention of becoming the artist she is today.  “Later on painting and drawing classes became my hobby, and I understood that art is what I want to do. I understood that architecture was not for me, because I needed something that gave me more freedom.” She went on to study her BA at the Art Academy of Latvia, where she was educated in academic painting, drawing, and composition, and is currently studying her Master’s there.

"Be Yourself. No, Not Like That." by Alvīne Bautra, oil on canvas, 2017

“I had to paint nudes from life every day, some angles changed or some body part was some centimeters different from the day before, so I started to capture it in my paintings.”

"Before Disappearance" by Alvīne Bautra, oil on canvas, 2017

Drawing from her inspiration at the Academy, Bautra knew her creative affinity resided in painting people, as she noticed and celebrated the intricate differences whilst painting the human form. This thoughtful approach enlightened Bautra to the beauty of movement, and she found passion by “depicting the slow motion of movement.” She considers the movement to be vividly symbolic of the human condition, “the human multi-layered nature, diversity and also uncertainty. It is individuals’ transformation that leads into the unknown.” It seems Bautra captures the ineffable mystery in the passage of time, and how one person can take so many forms in a minute, a year, and a lifetime.

"I Could Fade Away, But I Won't" by Alvīne Bautra, oil on canvas, 2017

Psychological Portraits

Relying on photography for reference, Bautra considers photographs sketches for her paintings, where she depicts the desired details in her paintings, rather than replicating the image entirely, Alvīne seeks to take her favorite details from the picture into her work. “My favorite part of the process is the beginning of the painting and the moment when it is finished”.  She also draws inspiration from photography sessions with her friends, hyperrealistic art, music, poetry and “weird personalities”.

"When The Sky Was More Blue" by Alvīne Bautra, oil on canvas, 2017

Alvīne Bautra captures the strange and surreal aspects of mundane everyday life and transforms them into truly mesmerizing “psychological portraits”. Bautra’s aim is to “capture a peculiar atmosphere and mood, mystical beauty and transparency between presence and disappearance. I hope that my paintings are interesting for people and that they bring them excitement and inspiration.” She is clearly rooted in connecting and evoking deep feeling in other people with her moodily beautiful supernatural aura, and by offering a portal into a dimension where time itself bends, the viewer can perceive reality in all of its possible forms.

All images copyright of Alvīne Bautra

You can view more work by Alvīne on her Instagram.

Article written by Kate Smith

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