In 2005, the abstract painter, Laimonis Mierins, had a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Riga Gallery, Latvia, his home country. A catalogue was work was published, and in this Laimonis was interviewed by the art critic and writer, John Sheeran. Laimonis spoke about the influences on his art.
I am always influenced by what I see or hear around me. Everything goes into the melting pot. African art, with its directness and expressive qualities, is really fascinating as are the arts of both the Americas, particularly the textiles of the ancient Incas. Their use of colour discords and complementaries is so subtle. I am jealous as hell of the ability of Chinese, Korean and Japanese artists to make lively marks with a brush or a stick. They never make any mistakes! Icons and Byzantine art are interesting too. For various reasons I do not admire Renaissance art, but I regard Mantegna as a master of composition and admit that his ideas of a cross construction has left a very deep mark on my visual thinking.
All my paintings are painted with acrylic paint. Its fast drying quality suits my temperament. I prefer to paint on a square format canvas because it is a dynamic shape in itself … I enjoy using interacting colours to express myself in a way that is impossible to achieve in any other media. Strong lively colours attract me anyway. The question is how to use them effectively and keep control, not the other way around. The hard-edge chevron paintings exhibited at the Riga Gallery show a gradual development into more complex forms over more than a decade, and a maturing of visual ideas, including painting techniques. It is a personal synthesis of hard edge, soft edge, Op Art, running and dripping paint, spontaneous splashes and occasional applied materials, without being too dogmatic about their use in a single painting. I have always painted or drawn what wanted, regardless of fashions or expectations. It is the only luxury I have.
Why do I carry on. I do not know, but it is certainly not out of habit. There is no shortage of ideas. I am a very restless person, being constantly pushed on by a never-ending stream of unpredictable, imaginative impulses.
Source: ‘Laimonis Mierins’. Retrospective Exhibition Catalogue (2005). Riga Gallery, Riga, Latvia. ISBN 190012355. Images above are taken from this publication.