|A new Melbourne exhibition of the Nude that explores the inner life revealed in the flex and form of the female body opens soon in a stunning solo debut by Melbourne artist Debra Luccio.
Debra's beautiful and evocative series of oil paintings and prints , Light and Shade - Images of the Body, opens from 24 May until 11 June 2006 at Steps Gallery in Lygon Street , Carlton.
The exhibition of highly original works tap their ability to seduce and confront from Debra 's love of drawing the nude form.
For Debra, the Nude presents a compelling mix of aesthetic fascination and connection to her subject that has led to the exquisite art soon to go on show in Light and Shade.
"I always found studying the human body to be an amazing, sensational experience. It takes me into my own world where I can simply concentrate on drawing the beautiful form in front of me," she says.
Debra soon discovered that her remarkable intuition and empathy gave her the artistic insight that inspired the grace of the works in Light and Shade .
"When I work with a model I sense her communication in her every move, her every inflection. I connect closely with that and I try to capture it in my work,
"This, for me, makes my work universal because it is explores the communication that flows from our bodies, uncensored and without design. These are truthful expressions, and I think they're beautiful when they reveal themselves on the body," Debra says.
The show is Debra's debut as a solo artist, and the works on show explore themes Debra shares with and traces to artists such as Auguste Rodin, renaissance painter Artemesia Gentileschi, German expressionist Kathe Kollowitz, and the French painter, Eugene Carriere. The thematic influence of those artists folds into the unusual and highly tactile artistic method that Debra has used for this show. The method is almost perfect for capturing the flow and curves of the female nude, and is, like the art Debra produces, fascinating.
Debra explains that she first creates a dark, tonal background on a canvas or copper plate and then uses a brush to draw the figure by removing paint. She then uses a cloth to wipe away larger sections of paint to reveal the light as it falls onto her subject.
This process limits an artist to just a day to produce the key elements at the heart of the work, and suits highly expressive artists like Debra, who says the method extends the connection she shares with her model to the actual process of creating her work.
"To reveal the figure from the paint you have to move the cloth over the canvas as though you were moving it over the body of the model herself. This means my process becomes as expressive and natural as the model herself," she says.
Light and Shades' artistic result is a set of beguiling images that return our gaze to the figure and remind us of its beauty, honesty, and power to tell of the life we hold within.