I love Lucebert, not only for his amazing drawings and paintings, but because I feel I would have liked to’ve known him. He dropped out of art school after 6 months and took to the streets, homeless for 9 years from 1938-1947. People who give up everything have a special quality. When I dropped out of nursing I went to work at the Simon Hostel, a homeless shelter in Oxford, UK. It was one of my happiest times and the men I got to know and befriend there were some of the most lovely and interesting I have ever met. Lucebert was also a poet, an anti-apartheid activist, a family man and part of the COBRA group.
Lucebert was born Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk in Amsterdam in 1924. His naive, raw work is magical…
In 1947, after 9 years of homelessness, a Franciscan convent took him in. In return Lucebert painted them a large mural, but the nuns didn’t like it and painted over it. Two years later he took part in the first exhibition of the COBRA group at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 1949.
Besides his art he was a revolutionary poet, mainly between 1948-1965.
He also sculpted with clay…
Lucebert died 10 May 1994 aged 69. He left behind over 700 poems and thousands of artworks.
And I’ll leave you with this brilliant video of him working in his studio. Enjoy…!
Words: CAND JUSKUS
Images: LUCEBERT found online