Luis Luna was born in Bogota in 1958.
Although first studying to become a doctor at the Javeriana University in Bogota in 1976 – and as is often the case in situations related to the arts – Luis Luna soon realized that he would have to follow, develop and master what was his real passion – Art.
So, during the 80´s he studied the Fine Arts at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, one of Colombia´s best universities for the arts, and then continued his studies at Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Not satisfied with this this great Colombian painter topped off his knowledge with an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Now, after that brief introduction, I could go on an on talking about all the grants and awards and extensive international exhibitions that Luna has completed but I will save you some time and just refer you to his website where all that stuff is written. You can find it here and you can come back to it later: Luis Luna.
So why did I bother to mention all the time spent he studying? Well once you get to know Luis you will perceive and understand that he is of tremendous intellect and that presents itself and is intrinsically part of his work. So in many ways, if you want to understand what this artist creates, I would suggest that it is necessary to understand him.
Luna has had several distinct and identifiable periods amongst the body of work he has built over the last two decades. So it would be facile to say that he bases much of his art on the integration of words into his paintings. However, over the most recent years this is often the starting point for many of his works. But these words placed in his paintings – sometimes upside down or at varying angles – are not to be interpreted directly but serve as a visual aid or symbol in understanding the piece of art as a whole. He has also at times included materials to form collages or included metals and enamels to represent his ideas.
But in his own words he says:
“I am not an illustrator of ideas, that is what happens with many conceptual artists. I, basically, am a painter and as such I feed off of many things, from collage to literature. That is why my paintings become phrases. Nevertheless, my point of departure is that the painting has to be born from unconscious impulse.”
El Tiempo, 11 July 2007
One of the most recent paintings that I personally admire is called “Divina Libertad”. Now this work was just recently shown this year at his exhibition at the Casas Riegner Gallery in Bogota. Now this work was previously shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota (MAMBO) in 2006, but the artist continued to work on it during 2007 prior to re-exhibiting it at Casas Riegner. However, I have inside knowledge that this work was originally started in 2003 or possibly as early as 2002 – and although it is a large work (3m x 4m) it would not have required the artist 4 years of his life to create – but perhaps the four years were necessary for the thought process to mature and become that art that he wishes to present to the world. It is a work that is based on two words: Divina Libertad (Beautiful Freedom).
A theme perhaps that would definitely require a large canvas as he has given it and based it on three important colors: red, black and gold. Were this colors deliberately chosen? Why don´t you ask the artist. Me? I believe they represent the blood and death that many south american countries experienced in the centuries old fight over the continents riches and even today that fight continues within Colombia for a freedom that is has yet to be completed. Perhaps a divine intervention is required?
(Oil / Canvas 300cm x 400cm – 2007)
The next work I have chosen to show here is perhaps more complex in its presentation and one which I would rather you view and leave your comments on.
(Oil / Canvas 120cm x 80cm – 2007)
Homenaje A Torres – García
This this example leaves little room for explanation as the title says it all. However, though Torres Garcia was a geometric artist the pulse of Luis Luna is written all over this work and makes it a beautiful tribute not only to the artist but to decades of knowledge built up in the arts in Latin America.
“Homenaje a Torres-García“
(Mixed Media / Metal 100cm x 100cm – 2007)
To stay informed on the artist´s life and work,
and his exhibition in Zurich, November 2007,