Cruise Collection 2013

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Elegy IX (sv), 2012 Acrylic And Collage On Canvas 48 X 42 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Cruise Collection 2013

2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
February 23rd, 2013 - March 30th, 2013
Opening: February 23rd, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

culver city/west la
Tue-Sat 11-6


Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce CRUISE COLLECTION 2013: New Paintings by Mara De Luca, premiering Saturday, February 23rd, at 6:00 p.m.  The show will remain on view through March 30, 2013. 

Graphic chic.  Sketched from essential lines.  Sculpted by optical combinations.  Ignited by striking flashes of light.  For Cruise Collection 2013, a modern bon ton by Mara De Luca. 

"For Cruise Collection 2013, I have created the poetic drama and darkly romantic mood of RainerMaria Rilke's existential poetry while re-examining visual codes through a contemporary lens,' explains the artist.  'I set out to contaminate the styles and conventions of Minimalist Abstraction and Romantic Painting with a new vision: conceptual rigor imbued with the facile seduction and sublime effect of high fashion advertisement."

Tactile sensations from unexpected material combinations: Overlapping pieces with sheer cuts and contrasting colors, synthesized in trompe l'oeil vistas. Dramatic skies and heightened lighting effects set in dusk landscapes and nighttime atmosphere shift between extremes of representation and abstraction; Landscaped fields and subtle and monochromatic light plays translate the effects and varying tone of Rilke's poems, gesturing towards the natural landscape of Los Angeles.

A mix-and-match inclination of diverse aesthetics installed and experienced as a single visual event.  A ready-made approach towards the monochrome.  Poured clouds.  Macro brushmarks.  Collaged fabric overlays, transparent and opaque.  Ruptured illusion.  A romantic gesture.


Cruise Collection 2013 - by Mara De Luca.


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Cruise Collection 2013 is Mara De Luca's second solo exhibition with the Gallery.

The above statement was adapted from the original press release for the Gucci Women's Cruise Collection 2012, designed by its Creative Director Frida Giannini. It is offered as a tongue-in-cheek nod to De Luca's source inspiration: the seductive manipulation of words, images and graphics in today's media, the ascendancy of art as "fashion", and the continued influence of Rilke's poetry upon a retail contemporary sublime.


Mara De Luca's work investigates the visual language of abstract painting and is a reflection on contemporary mass media expressed though diverse pictorial, conceptual and technical conventions. She employs a process in which the paintings are generated through paint pours onto unprimed canvas; the poured image is then overlaid with a semi-transparent fabric - a ready-made fade. The series comprises atmospheric paintings that mimic digitally rendered imagery found in Gucci and Prada ads - what might be described as "hyper-analog" representations of light and space. This technique closely resembles the digital "pour" and "gradient" editing features common to Photoshop, ubiquitous effects in advertising and design and the airbrushed pages of glossy fashion magazines and billboards.

In 2010, De Luca exhibited Stations, a series of fourteen paintings inspired by Barnett Newman's 
Stations of the Cross, at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.  Here, De Luca layers a disparate array of appropriated graphic imagery drawn from television, commercial advertising, and Baroque painting on top of meticulously painted canvases of abstract color.  Evocative of Newman's own painterly aspirations for "the whole canvas [to] become color and have a sense of light," De Luca's Stations are a meditation on the ideologies of mass media. 

Mara De Luca was born 1973 in Washington, D.C., and lives and works in Los Angeles.  She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, and BA from Columbia University, New York.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. Upcoming and recent solo and group exhibitions include Elegies, curated by Carl Berg, at Irvine Center for the Arts, Irvine, CA; Searchin': Los Angeles and the Quest for the Sublime, curated by Mary Coyne, at Angel's Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA; and MAS Attack [Mutual Appreciation Society] at the LA Mart in downtown Los Angeles.