Eva Claessens, Artist | Plan South America
Art, Interviews | Uruguay | 21.02.24

Eva Claessens, Artist

After living in Italy & Southern France, Belgian artist Eva Claessens chose to base herself in rural Uruguay, choosing a dilapidated house to restore.

Inspired by the natural landscapes of Latin America & life in Uruguay, Eva’s distinctive style is instantly recognisable. We caught up to get the inside track on life in Uruguay & the country’s burgeoning art scene.

You’re originally from Antwerp, what first drew you to Uruguay?

I was born & raised in Antwerp but left Belgium when I was 18, & afterwards, I spent seven years in Italy, fifteen in France & six in Uruguay. At six or seven I said to my parents that when I grew up I wanted to be an artist & that I was going to Italy to paint.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration is in my head, I always search to capture specific emotions and feelings in motion, but my work is rooted in nature. Being outside in the natural world gives me freedom in my mind & body to express my thoughts. In a city for example, with lots of people & distractions, I feel overwhelmed and I find it impossible to breathe. This sort of life would lead to a different kind of art: something that is not ‘me’.

How has the Uruguayan art scene developed in the last few years?

Uruguay is a very creative country on many levels. I’m not hugely involved in the art scene, but I am aware that a lot is happening, and it is slowly but surely giving opportunities to young artists. There’s an art fair in Punta Del Este every January & a whole bunch of artist residences have become available.

Which Uruguayan galleries would you recommend any art aficionados should visit?

I would recommend Xippas which is an international art gallery, & the Viks in Jose Ignacio, three beautiful art hotels owned by a Norweigan & Uruguayan couple. In Garzon, a small village, you can walk around and you’ll bump into artists & find yourself wandering into small galleries.

When you’re not painting in your studio where do you like to spend your time?

Well, I am painting & sculpting most of the time, but I do love to travel too. One of my favourite spots in Uruguay is the amethyst mines in Artigas, I also love to drive in the desert in Northern Argentina (the best-unexpected adventures seem to happen on dusty roads).

Where is next on your travel list?

I just arrived back in Uruguay after a few months in Europe & the US, but at the end of February 2020 I will be in Los Angeles for an art show & I’m off to India later in the year.

What do you never travel without?

I never travel without pencils, paper & a good book. Ereaders make it so much easier, I waited a long time to give up the pleasure of turning paper pages & buying paper books but honestly, I can’t travel anymore without my virtual library.


Where are you happiest?

I am happiest when in my own world… windows open, birds & frogs singing, being creative with no time zone other than my own inspiration.


What do you listen to when on the road?

I listen to very different kinds of music, a lot of classical music – cello or piano are my favourite, but I can also listen to a very cheesy song on repeat for hours! I love the occasional sing-along song that makes you feel happy & nostalgic at the same time. I am also a big fan of podcasts.

Which place will you always return to?

I will always return to the south of France the Cevennes, the region where we had a family home next to a river & waterfall.


Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or new projects?

I am always working on new projects but am especially very excited about an upcoming show in Los Angeles at the end of February (2020) in the most iconic house designed by the architect Neutra, The Lovell house. My art will hang all over the house, & each piece will have a special location in total harmony with the architecture & the amazing views. The windows will be open to use the breeze to make the canvases dance in the wind.

Follow Eva Claessens on Instagram Explore Eva Claessens’ website


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