Lolo Mangual-Lenke

Interview with Famed Cleveland Artist, DJ and Personality, LoLo Mangual-Lenke

What is your favorite medium?

Acrylic and mixed media have become my preferred artistic mediums, although I must acknowledge that during the earlier stages of my creative journey, I indulged in the captivating realm of oil painting. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

The wellspring of my artistic inspiration resides in the depths of my emotions. Through the medium of painting, I have discovered a sanctuary wherein I can freely express these sentiments that often eluded comprehension. In moments of perceived misunderstanding, painting has bestowed upon me a rekindled sense of voice and agency.

“I Paint My Feelings” holds a special place within my art works, a testament to the depths of my emotions and the power of art to heal and express what words cannot. It was on that life-altering day, October 25, 2016, that my beloved mother, Carmen, passed away, forever changing the course of my existence.

In the wake of her departure, a surge of raw emotions overwhelmed me, seeking an outlet for release. It was in the midst of this turmoil that the concept for “I Paint My Feelings” took root within me—a visual embodiment of my grief, love, and longing. With each brushstroke, I poured my heart onto the canvas, translating the complex tapestry of emotions into vivid hues and evocative forms.

When the opportunity arose to showcase this deeply personal artwork at the prestigious Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan, I knew it was a moment of profound significance. Determined to honor my mother’s memory, I embarked on a poignant journey, accompanied by my son and nephew. The road to Detroit was marked by sleepless nights and tireless dedication, as we carried the painting with reverence and purpose.

Throughout the arduous trip, I could feel Carmen’s indomitable spirit beside me, providing unwavering strength and guidance. It was as if her presence infused every fiber of my being, fueling my determination to deliver this heartfelt creation to its rightful destination.

As “I Paint My Feelings” found its place within the walls of the museum, I felt a profound sense of connection—a testament to the enduring bond between my mother and me. This artwork became an intimate memoir, encapsulating the depth of my grief, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of artistic expression.

In that moment, surrounded by the collective stories of African American history, my painting stood as a testament to the universal human experience—of loss, love, and the profound journey towards healing. It serves as a reminder that art has the power to bridge divides, transcend language, and touch the souls of those who witness it. The woman who purchased this painting is part of a famous celebrity family. We are friends and this holds a special place in her heart as she is from my birthplace, Brooklyn, NY and we both lost our mothers. This is the power of art!!! 

Who is your favorite artist?

In the realm of artistic greatness, where strokes of brilliance intertwine with the depths of human emotion, Frida Kahlo emerges as a luminary whose radiant spirit continues to resonate across time and space. In the preeminent stages of her artistic journey, Kahlo’s resolute presence served as an unwavering beacon, illuminating the path towards bravery and self-expression within the boundless realm of painting.

As I embarked upon my own artistic odyssey, Kahlo’s indomitable spirit beckoned to me, whispering tales of courage and resilience. Her vibrant canvases, adorned with intricate symbolism and raw vulnerability, became a tapestry upon which my own narrative started to unfold. In her brushstrokes, I discovered a mirror through which I could confront my own pain, seeking solace within the transformative power of art.

Yet, in the vast tapestry of artistic inspiration, the threads of Kahlo’s influence were not the sole ones to weave themselves into the fabric of my artistic journey. Alongside her, two other luminaries emerged, each imprinting their own unique mark upon the canvas of my soul.

Andy Warhol, a visionary provocateur, shattered the confines of conventionality, teaching me that artistic expression knows no bounds. From the realm of Pop Art, he beckoned me to embrace the audacious, to transcend the limitations imposed by societal norms, and to find beauty in the mundane. Warhol’s bold strokes and vibrant palettes emboldened me to challenge the status quo, to explore the uncharted territories of creativity, and to embrace the limitless possibilities that lie within the realm of artistic innovation.

And then there was Jean-Michel Basquiat, a luminary whose meteoric rise from the streets of New York City resonated deep within my being. An artistic prodigy, Basquiat taught me to believe in myself, to trust the whispers of my own creative instincts. His raw, visceral expressions on canvas mirrored the tumultuous landscape of my own inner world, reminding me that my voice mattered, that I had something unique and significant to contribute to the artistic tapestry of humanity.

These three artists, Kahlo, Warhol, and Basquiat, became my triumvirate of inspiration, guiding lights amidst the creative labyrinth. Their collective presence fueled my artistic fire, urging me to embrace vulnerability, to embrace authenticity, and to forge my own path through the vast expanse of artistic exploration.

In the wake of Frida Kahlo’s unwavering resolve, Andy Warhol’s audacious spirit, and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s unwavering self-belief, I found the courage to wield my brush as a conduit for both personal catharsis and universal connection. With every stroke, I endeavor to honor their legacies, to channel their artistic essence, and to contribute my own distinct hue to the ever-evolving canvas of human expression. 

2005 Oil Painting of Frida, titled, Reflexion 

Have you created any art you would never part with?

Among my cherished possessions, there exists a select collection of oil paintings that I hold in such high regard that parting with them would be inconceivable. These works of art, imbued with profound personal significance, serve as poignant reflections of my innermost self, encapsulating fragments of my journey and experiences. With an unwavering determination, it is my aspiration to immortalize these masterpieces within the pages of a meticulously curated art book, where their evocative narratives can be shared and celebrated with discerning readers and art enthusiasts alike.

I know you’ve had one of your paintings stolen from a gallery. As painful as I know this had to be for you, did it confirm to you that you had finally arrived?

Although the pain still lingers, I do understand that there is a certain flattery in having my work noticed. However, I refuse to let this setback silence me, as I have so much more to express. I actually have footage of the thieves, and just to add a touch of humor to the situation, here’s a picture of them.

Please share the address and phone number where your artwork can be purchased. Or, include the contact info you would prefer.

I can be reached by my email at 

Is there anything additional you would like to be included? 

For a deeper dive into my artistic journey and to stay updated on the latest developments, I invite you to visit, where you can sign up for my exclusive “In the Know” Newsletter. It’s a valuable resource that offers insights, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and exciting updates directly from me.

Additionally, I am eagerly looking forward to the possibility of performing in Pittsburgh soon. Returning to my high school and early college roots would be an extraordinary opportunity to reconnect with the place that shaped my formative years and share the joy of music with familiar faces. I wholeheartedly embrace the chance to bring the energy and excitement of my artistry to my hometown once again. 

Links to my Art Bio and Art Store

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