Australian artist Rodrigo Luff‘s paintings of women in luminous realms take us back to a more innocent time before Eve bit into the forbidden apple. Previously featured here on our blog, the Sydney based artist finds his inspiration in an array of artists, science and nature, from the electric colors of the Northern Lights to fantastical worlds created by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
Luff’s goddess-like characters are not visitors into this magical place, but feel right at home among flocks of owls, deer and other creatures of the forest. “I’m interested in the way we have always sought a connection to the natural world, and how that liminal, mysterious and wild realm reflects those uncharted dimensions within our psyche,” he says. Using a technique similar to chiaroscuro, Luff colors his world with colored pencil, pastel, graphite, oil, and acrylic in ways that recall the stylings of Art Nouveau and the Romantic era, which glorified of all the past and nature.
For his upcoming exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles, opening tomorrow, the artist emulates the same surreal blend of realism and fantasy with animals like owls, but in a way that enriches his vision. “Nemeta”, titled after the sacred groves appearing in Celtic religion, sees the natural areas in his art rendered in more detail and lushness, and a more varied color palette than in previous works. “This inner world is impossible to hold with your hand and yet we all feel, imagine and are often driven by emotions which are larger than life itself. We can only express it with metaphor, using elements from the outside world and comparing them to what it feels like. I think this layered experience is what I’m striving to capture in some way.”