Atilla Richard Lukacs was born in Alberta in 1962. In 1985, Lukacs graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. He moved to Berlin in 1986, working at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin. In 1996, he relocated to New York City in order to be closer to the centre of American art Lukacs is known predominantly for his paintings of male skinheads, primates and American military cadets during the early 1990s. These brutally explicit works shocked and provoked a generation of painters and critics alike. Although Lukacs is best known for paintings that depict exaggerated masculine figures, such as gay skinheads and military cadets (Military Series True North), he has also created a collection of paintings of flowers (Flowers) and trees (Arbor Vitae). His paintings frequently reference the historical compositions and themes of David and Caravaggio as well as the compositional devices of the miniature painters and illustrators of India (Of Monkeys and Men) and the Middle East. A more recent series of paintings depict conifer trees, dramatically painted in tar on a silver leaf field. The artist now lives in Vancouver.
Fred with Funny Clown, 2013
two-colour etching, ed. 40
image: 35.5” x 27.5”
paper: 44” x 30.5”
Etching is an example of intaglio. Intaglio derives its name from the Italian intagliare, meaning to incise. Copper or zinc plates have a waxy ground applied to them, and an incising tool called a scribe is used to penetrate the ground. The plate is immersed in an acid bath, where the acid bites into the incised lines to emphasize them. When the plate is ready for inking, the ground is removed and the entire plate is covered in ink. The plate is then wiped clean on the surface and printed on damp paper, where the paper is forced into the etched lines and picks up the remaining ink, resulting in an image.