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Luca's images live in a world of wonder and miracles.
Luca Monti, who lives and works between Paris and London, is primarily known for his series of unusual and very recognisable gigantic prints and immersive photographic installations.
The work display an intricate way of playing with and relating to each other: existentialistic, poetic and mythological figures abduct the spectator into the artist world of fascination and phenomena.
The figures approach in the middle of a nondescript, plain, undefined room. They offer frontal views of grotesquely contorted bodies. Discovered wearing skin-like costumes, adorned with materials that you would probably figure better in a scrapyard: used tools, piece of plastic, flesh, decomposed materials - main of which are sourced from rubbish. All these ‘accessories’ concur to create different characters in a theatrical role play. The game lives through abstraction. How do huge feet made with rubber from an hazmat suit merge with a delicate body? Which intricacies are woven into the mesh of physical abnormalities? How do these bodies relate to the materials that have been added, as the decor for the characters, to hold onto or lean against? It is the full intention of the artists not to give satisfactory answers to these questions, Luca willingly create confusion and forces the spectator to focus more intensely on the behaving of what they are observing.
« I prefer to work in absence of a preset theme or subject. I choose fragments of images from my digital archive, and then proceed independently to determine how the chosen fragment can potentially fit into the concept of the new work. Frequently, I exchange the works so that one will continues where the other has stopped. »
During recent years, Luca perfected his mise en scene, creating an incredible series of 'photoworks beyond reality' by emphasises surprising moments in surrealist, erotically charged, junctures. This creates a scrapbook full of subtle hints and uncertain role play. We can never see the full faces of 'bambole di Luca', mouth and nose are rarely recognisable, the entire head is engulfed by eclectic material like steel, plastic, organic liquids, or the facial features simply blurred or headed in another way.
Pain, passion and pleasure occur in a multitude of ways to hidden identities… Bold eroticism, agonising bodies or the quiet poetry of evocative glances are the elements used in this dark world, rich in contrast.
« I work with female bodies exclusively, for the simple anatomical reason that it is easier to add a cock than cut one off... My work deals with the fundamental aspects of human existence. I am completely uninterested in sexual identity, however, ambiguity is important to me because it creates room for interpretation and identification… »
Luca is driven by an insatiable curiosity and desire to change the way we think about our bodies.
« I look to the human body as a blank canvas for my investigations, a core which I use to build, over layers and layers of materials, like concepts, this provides a framework to build my stories upon. As a storyteller, I search for ways of extending body perception beyond its physical and biological edge, manipulating the natural silhouette with materials that are draped, injected or bathed over the skin. »
Today Luca is based in London, planning to return home to Paris on occasion, to work on commissioned pieces of work.
« The more projects I complete, the more I understand the influences certain artists have had on me. I developed a conscious awareness for understanding people’s body movements and behaviour. Everything is an event on the skin… and for this reason my work is seeded from instinct, my process is primitive, driven and inspired by my immediate surroundings and the flesh I work with… »
Luca is not scared to present a body of work that consistently pushing the boundaries of photography through a wealth of closely observed detail and monumental scale. Luca diverse body of work provides a coherent picture of our world and its current condition from a specific point of view the human flesh and their surroundings. Are you not worried that your work can be easily misrepresented and misjudged due to the sensitive nature of you images ?
« The outcome can sometimes be surprisingly morbid, confusing, disturbing, each time I never anticipate the final result, I allow myself to drive by la difficolta' della materia. I'm not looking into the future of humanity, and I am certainly not interested in new technologies, my vision is about present and past, I am deeply consumed by the living flesh, in my future, there is only rotten. La mia e' una fotografia intempestiva. Said that, yes I do, I really do. I always worried of what I'm showing since is often too personal, for me or for the people that appear in my pictures, but I'm never worried to be judged !»
Luca's work has been featured in numerous exhibitions worldwide and has been included in numerous international private, corporate and museum collections . The formats vary from small prints - only made for portfolio editions to solo prints around 100 x 150cm and the large scale unique works print in one single copy in the size of 400 x 500cm. Works by Luca Monti have been published in many editorials for national and international magazines , newspapers and books .
« My work blurs and disrupts the physical edges of what is human... silhouettes becomes identities, rays of light become people, and raw materials assume the shapes of dreams and nightmares, everything in my work happen in a fluctuating time, with no begin and no end. I strive to be genderless, timeless, but also deeply connected to my cultural heritage that is all mankind history... I don't fit in the boundaries of what is photography now. I never felt myself such thing as a photographer. Printed images trough a photographic medium is just one part of my work, but are the installations that represent myself most.»