The broad and nuanced artistic vision Luccio has developed throughout a career spanning almost 25 years is on full display in New York Mythic, a selection of prints chosen especially for Port Jackson Press from an ambitious and extensive body of work. The collection of drypoints and etchings that make up the exhibition feature a new take on Luccio’s concrete muse.
In these pieces, expansive, lofty perspectives together with impressionistic vignettes are shown to dramatic effect. The multiple personalities of this assertive and storied city and are brought to life in Luccio’s signature vigorous and unflinching style. This is New York as you have not seen her before; a multi-faceted homage to a city that is as much myth as material.
Aficionados of Luccio’s gritty, cityscape drypoints will be awed by the immense power conveyed in the large-scale works contained in New York Mythic. It is as if the momentous human forces that push the story of this city forward and define its contours are mirrored in the sense of force, push and pull that was required of Luccio when working with 6-feet-wide copper plates. Importantly, this physical effort has allowed Luccio to produce great gesture, surprise, responsiveness and expression and they emanate a strong sense of the energy, movement and flow of brash New York City life. Also apparent throughout is the sense of urgency and activity that occurs when the artist engages with his subject intuitively and instinctively.
Complementing the drypoints made from towering vantage points—think the views afforded by the highest heights of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings—are those created in situ amid the hustle, bustle and jostle of New York’s buzzing street life. For Luccio, the city’s “assault on the senses” is electrifying; with it’s history written on all its architecture, filling the streets with art and culture of every kind, it is an endless source of inspiration.
New York Mythic becomes New York itself –as alive on paper as it is in the flesh. It captures the beating heart of New York, including iconic landmarks such as the Chrysler building and the Empire State as well as Luccio’s favorite New York diner, Eisenbergs. This embodiment is no more apparent than in the two, six foot wide drypoints included in the exhibition – the artist’s biggest to date. In these prints, Luccio evokes a sense of New York not just of how it is seen, but how it is felt. The scale and the details it affords allows the viewer’s mind to boggle at the city’s magnificence, mimicking the way one’s mind and body reacts when confronted by the vast metropolis.
In New York Mythic Luccio’s uncompromisingly bold style meets its match in a city of similar ilk. It’s an inspiring and energising exhibition showcasing the work of an artist who, like his subject matter, is deeply original, immediately recognisable and constantly evolving.
All images courtesy of Marco and Debra Luccio
New York Mythic runs from 23rd May – 7th June