Lucas Monaco: Statement   [ home ] Back to Documents [ email me ]

After graduating from Brandeis University in 1992, I moved to San Francisco, where I soon began showing paintings based on my study of organic objects- found and culled from the oil paint itself. I also continued my interest in space as defined by architecture, by inserting vaguely architectural elements into the imagery, all rendered in an expressionist manner. This work culminated with my 1996 painting “You Can Build Your Own Cave”, a piece that situated tangled bio-morphisms in a structured interior portrait.

I put painting aside in 1997, and began concentrating on a series of small, geometric pencil drawings and crude wood. This work was a more bare-bones approach towards making art that enabled me to explore the relationship between the "utilitarian" and the "creative" impulses.

The drawings soon evolved into maps when, during a trip to Paris, my attempts to capture the city in sketches exposed me to the complex differences between “looking at” and “reading”. The map became an example of an abstracted, utilitarian tool meant to be read that easily translated into a picture- something to be viewed.

At the end of 1997 I returned to New York and started showing work based on the theories and criticism of urban planning and development I had been reading. Since then, I shown pretty regularly at venues including White Columns, The Drawing Center, Gale Gates, Smack Mellon, and The Queens Museum, where I installed “Parallel Plane: Mapping Corona”, a one-man show interpreting the urban development of Queens.

I also did two artist residencies, The Vermont Studio Center in 1999, and Sculpture Space in 2001, both of which proved to be great accelerators for my work.