Justin Luper grew up drawing things. From silly doodles, graphics for skateboards, to furniture designs and buildings, Luper has always been motivated to draw. Even as a college student he was compelled to include drawings along with his writings. After graduating in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida he decided to pursue a career as a visual artist. Over the past twelve years his practice has grown to include drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and digital design. His work has been seen in numerous galleries and featured in different publications. Currently he has selected works on view at FineArts807 gallery in Orlando, Fl.
Luper is inspired by visual artists such as Rosenquist, Mehretu, de Kooning, Soutine, Bosch, Bacon, Matisse, Murakami, Kandinsky, and Abney to name only a few. Authors such as Kobo Abe, Murakami, Marquez, Wallace Stevens, Sartre, Kafka, Watts, Williams, Pound, Graber, Zukin, Moten, Morrison and Derrida have helped shape Luper’s thoughts on art and life. Luper also looks to music, architecture, and nature to inspire his work.
Luper’s current practice is primarily focused on creating paintings. His process starts with drawing and taking photos then collaging and editing his drawings and photographs on a computer. He adds and subtracts details, colors, and shapes until the original imagery is abstracted. From there he will either project or trace the outlines of his graphic designs depending on whether his substrate is canvas or plexiglass. He allows room for the imagery to change during this process, never insisting on duplicating his graphic designs. The final form of his paintings often reveal a sense of playfulness and nostalgia. The viewer often recognizes a place or feeling within the painting although they may be unable to pinpoint what exactly It is. This seems to be a part of what Luper is trying to convey through his work, imagery that is both subjective and universal, works that are almost recognizable but in their unwillingness to point to a specific something they point at everything and nothing, they are “everything and nothing all at once” as Luper has described his work.
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