Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace Project Room is Aurora, featuring new work by Australian based artist Rodrigo Luff. Luff’s mixed media work combines technically resolved figuration with surrealistic imagery inspired by nature. The artist looks to 19th century art historical precedents for inspiration, and re-synthesizes its visual legacy through a contemporary aesthetic. By combining the decorative with the surreal, the human with the animal, and the observed with the imagined, the artist’s work presents us with a world of fantasy and metamorphosis.
The work is dream-like, highly stylized, and soulfully executed, owing to its technical beauty and inherent nostalgia. Reminiscent of late 19th century Art Nouveau and the likes of Mucha and Klimt, the artist combines the lyricism of organic forms and curvatures, and harmonizes them within his compositions. Rodrigo Luff’s work has an overall softness and luminosity in its execution of the figurative, much like the 19th century portraiture of John Singer Sargent. Seeking expressive license through surreal imagery and a highly refined stylization, Luff’s works are historically ambiguous, captivating, and seem to transcend their own time.
Looking to nature and the animal world for thematic inspiration, Luff tends to combine the human with the natural in a way that blurs the distinction of their boundaries. The figurative is subsumed by the movement and pattern of the organic, creating overall compositions that explore an intricate and surreal hybridity of worlds. Luff’s work deftly combines the contemporary with the historical, and the realist’s technical facility with the surrealist’s expansiveness.