The Guerrero Gallery is currently showing some spellbinding new mixed-media works by Alex Lukas. Working on top of paper, the Philadelphia-based artist explores the fragility of modern society by depicting overgrown skyscrapers, submerged metropolises, and ruined cities. Using ink, acrylic, watercolor, gouache and silk screen, Lukas paints a futuristic view of contemporary society, abandoned by the humans who built it.
Playing upon the tradition of landscape painting in America where the land is a place of discovery, purity and optimism, Lukas creates landscapes which superficially resemble the romanticized landscapes of the past but instead feature dying foliage, spray painted messages on crumbling concrete walls and torn abstract murals. Lukas also appropriates photographic images of urban areas from commercial posters and vintage publications. Originally meant to idealize America and American ingenuity, Lukas uses them to provoke questions about reality vs. mythology and the past vs. the future.
One particularly eye-popping piece is the large panoramic painting that can be viewed in almost 360 degrees (see the last image in this post).
*Photos from the Guerrero Gallery.