Next Magazine: Blast Off With Our Who's Next in 2008
New York, NY
Art & Illustrations by Lucas Stoffel
Next Magazine: Future Perfect
When navigating through Gay New York's universe of up-and-coming talent it takes more than a blip to make it on our radar. It takes a bang, a big one.
Lucas Stoffel: Pop Artist
"I see the world through art," declares Lucas Stoffel, a 29-year-old Iowa native trained in Paris. "I'm viewing it from a 21st-century viewpoint." Evidently, this modern, polymodal perspective is appreciated. After winning the 2006 Starving Artist Awards and impressing at the amFAR Rocks AIDS benefit as the featured artist that same year, Stoffel continued his artistic journey in 2007. He received a commission from Dylan's Candy Bar titled "Sweetness" and held a color show at New World Stages Gallery. Not to mention, he embarked on a six-week trip to Asia to research his latest series, "Made in Taiwan," an exploration of tribal aesthetics and appropriation currently exhibited at the Lower East Side's Gallery Bar.
Using raw digital photos as his foundation, Stoffel transforms each image into complex yet reductive canvases of vivid color, employing diverse elements like newspaper, projections, and acrylic paint. The result is undeniably pop.
Reflecting on his journey from cornfields to collectors, Stoffel credits changes in the art scene as his driving force and challenge. "Kids in my generation, we're not spending our days on 10th and 11th Ave in the galleries; we are hanging out in the East Village. I'm trying to bring my art to an urban environment and reach a broader audience of people our age. I'm trying to change it; art has to evolve." And, as with every creative endeavor in New York, the forces pushing that evolution are a mix of talent and hustle.
"I never thought being a painter was such hard work!" Stoffel laughs. In the last two years, he's been a "one-man show," juggling advertising, marketing, PR, and temp jobs, not to mention actual production time. But he's optimistic about where that hard work is leading. "I think 2008 is the year of explosion," he enthuses about his prospects. "People in our age group are starting to see the work en masse. I've made so much headway this year that it's not stopping." With any luck, Stoffel's dynamic, innovative pieces will introduce a whole new generation of art lovers to what's next.
Written by Justin Lockwood - Next Magazine