Marne Lucas (b. 1968 Honolulu) is a multi-disciplinary artist in New York City. She investigates nature, culture, and the body, presenting social, aesthetic and eco-based philosophies about humanity. Her ‘Eco-Baroque’ installations using photography, video and sculpture, have exhibited in the 2012 Mongolia 360˙ Land Art Biennial, Portland2010 Oregon Art Biennial and The Art Gym. Lucas is known for stylistic, intimate photographic portraiture in ongoing artist portrait, self-portrait and nude series. Lucas exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, participated in a CentralTrak artist residency, received an Oregon Arts Commission public art grant, and RACC project grants 2006, collaboratively 2008, 2012.
My photography and installation art investigates humanity’s relationship to nature and to self.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the invented genre of ‘Eco-Baroque’ installation art humorously expresses my nature-based mythology and began in 2007 with collaborator Bruce Conkle.
Eco- concerned with living things in relation to their environment.
Baroque- extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style.
‘Eco-Baroque’ is a maximalist aesthetic approach to illuminate nature’s ornate beauty, transcending manufactured decadence with decorative, recycled materials, (natural materials when practical.) The aim is to inform and amuse while questioning our consumption of energy, resources, and humanity's ever-changing relationship to nature; drawing analogies between ornate beauty as found in nature and the luxury goods with which mankind seeks in order to try and separate himself from the animals. Inspiration is drawn from moss, lichen, crystals, minerals, burls, coconuts, Native American culture, reflections, gold leaf, fountains, dioramas, chandeliers, most shiny things and psychedelic patterns found abundantly in nature.
This work exhibited at the 2010 Oregon Biennial of Contemporary Art and included sculpture, photography and drawings. Met with critical success and a positive response to ‘Eco-Baroque’ has led to further development of the genre beyond installation art, and contributes a new approach to the current social concept of ‘Eco’ where art is related.
My photographic portraiture merges beauty and intimacy to reveal nuances of identity and changing social attitudes. Honest depiction of my sitters draws upon a background in erotic tableaux, a historically male tradition. I use abstract, yet positional narrative, in artist portrait 'Sitting City'', nudes and self-portraits 'MLSP' series, the body is palette and canvas to explore the subtle nuances of identity, persona, and how our culture responds with changing and conflicting social attitudes.
I collaborate extensively both behind and in front of the camera, celebrating the sensual, most notably with Jacob Pander on an award winning, infrared erotic short film ‘The Operation’ (1995).
‘MLSP’ (Marne Lucas Self-Portrait) is a decade-long series referencing contemporary views on beauty and makes commentary about social roles, in an ever-evolving parade of characters, of all genders, in urban locales and in nature.
I am currently developing 'Incident Energy' a multi-channel IR video installation with Jacob Pander, for an exhibtion in the Fall 2013 at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. This project is supported in part by a RACC 2012-13 Project Grant.
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