Luff was born in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1987. He immigrated to Sydney, Australia with his mother in order to escape the decade long civil war. He has been living in Australia ever since.
In April and May of 2011, Luff had his first two solo exhibitions, showing at Phone Booth Gallery in Los Angeles, and Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. He is currently working towards other projects and new art shows.
Luff is capable of integrating a wide range of subjects within his chosen media of oil painting and drawing with his distinctive style. This is perhaps what drew me to his work over the other artists presented to me.
One of my favourite of his works is the beautiful “Nebula”, which was made in April of 2012. The studies for the work were made using pencil, pastel, acrylic and iridescent or lustrous media. The final work is composed of the same materials, though the colour is far more vibrant.
The main focus of the work is the angelic, statuesque woman in the near centre. She is looking downwards, which draws the viewer to the nest of owls in her arms, which are looking in all different directions. Towards the top of the work, there are more owls nesting in her hair, and on her right wing, which; along with the left wing, appear to be crumbling away.
The work itself is bright and heavenly. The way Luff created it is awe-inspiring.
The second work of which I researched is called “Owl Song”; created in March, 2012. This work had four preliminary drawings before it became a completed work.
The initial idea, as Luff himself stated, was “a tree wrapping around the girl, with glowing orbs of light. Kind of like musical notes moving upwards, which were the owls.” The image itself is small, at only 40×60 cm, but the detail is impressive nonetheless.
The image was made with various media on paper, and evolved through a series of smaller works from Luff’s journal. The final work was very different from the first sketch. The sketch seems to have been entirely built around the figure, as it is the main focus. In the completed work, however, the figure is not a focal point for the viewer, but rather just a flowing part of the image.
“Owl Song” and “Nebula” are similar works in composition. They both feature a female figure, as do most of Luff’s works. The owls are another significant part of the works, as they too appear frequently in his works, along with various other birds.
The third and final work which I would like to share is Luff’s moleskine notebook, which itself is a very ambitious project. Luff intends to fill every page of the notebook by the end of this year (2012).
Luff has stated that this project is about stopping “the addiction to the idea of a fresh start, and accepting that even if the pages suck, you have to push through to the end anyway”.
The work in the journal is breathtaking. It ranges from simple sketches to completed paintings. To view pages of the notebook is to accompany Luff on a journey.
Artists use notebooks to document images from our mind; lingering messages and thoughts that refuse to budge. Luff’s notebook is the very definition of an artist’s inner mind, and is an exciting and intriguing work.
In short, Rodrigo Luff is definitely an inspiring artist; just looking at his works make me want to rip myself from this computer screen and paint until I pass out.
– “Owl Song” – http://rodrigoluff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0#/d4rm2mj
– Luff’s deviantART gallery, featuring his moleskine works
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