Luke Chueh’s show “From Light Cometh Darkness” opens this Friday, March 20th at Corey Helford Gallery. Although this body of work encompasses his usual beloved but sad and/or tortured characters, Chueh does appear to be exploring some different techniques and themes. For example, look at the raw energy and loose strokes in his interpretation of Goya’s famous painting (seen above).Â We sat down with Luke to talk about about this painting as well as other things in the interview after the jump…
Arrested Motion (AM): Can you tell us a little about your body of work for “From Light Cometh Darkness?” How did you come up with the name of the show? Any central themes?
LC: I think the title “From Light Cometh Darkness” pretty much sums up one of the basic characteristics of my work. I actually got the title from the text found in the painting featured on the album artwork of Coil’s “Love’s Secret Domain”. Is there a central theme to the show? No, not really. The work is definitely all over the place.
AM: It was interesting to see you remix Francisco Goya’s masterpiece “Saturn Devouring His Son.” How did you come up with the idea?
LC: “Saturn Devouring His Son” is one of those paintings, that when I was introduced to the piece, got me excited about art. The piece literally rocked me. One of my “missions” as an “artist” is to create work that makes my audience feel what I felt when I was introduced to “Saturn…” This remix is a homage to Goya, and that painting.
AM: Do you feel yourself transitioning in a new direction? There is some speculation because of your new work “Self Portrait 2009 (My Ball & Chain),” that this will be your last show with bears? Say it ain’t so.
LC: I must admit, after several years of working with the my regular line of animals, the idea that I’m stuck with them (whether I like it or not) has crossed my mind. But I hope the expression I painted on my face doesn’t suggest anything like “forlorn” or “troubled”. I was going for “contemplative”, ’cause I still love working with these characters, and I truly believe making too drastic of a stylistic change, or “evolution” is tantamount to career suicide. But to stay “fresh”, change is necessary, and with this show I think my audience will be pleased to see that I’ve found ways to push myself, without sacrificing those elements my audience seems to enjoy of me.
AM: Any other shows or projects planned for 2009 that you can share with us?
LC: Actually, on September 9th, 2009, Gallery 1988 (Los Angeles) will be hosting “Inferno”, my interpretation of the Dante Alighieri’s 9 rings of hell. Also, I’ve been talking to Baby Tattoo about a book… but we’ll see.
AM: Thanks for your time Luke and good luck with your show. We hope everyone comes see this show as your paintings always look better in person.