The main purpose of the shadows in the visual representation involves the actual existence of something which stands out from the general area, which means it is three dimensional.This means that photos are prescribed three-dimensional shapes in a two dimensional representation.Changing the position of shadows in the picture (turned into a gold surface), we get a completely new experience what illusion of photography is.This photo experimental procedure approaches the visual concept of images to visibility of Byzantine icons and different perception of reality, where the light is understood in a symbolic way.This kind of intervention is intended to turn a photo into "something else”.Works in this series reinforcing the reality of transferring to another level that is no longer just an objective.The result is a hybrid obtained by visual representation, which is now far from its photographic origin and which is now becoming something that was not before.
Displaying the naked female body together with a skull – Eros and Thanatos – is another common scene, almost a cliché, in the history of European painting. The model chose to write out BE BRAVE on her body, as if to encourage both herself and the viewers. This almost pagan ritual is further supported by the use of a human skull which depersonalizes the subject, something reminiscent of African masks. It’s as if death itself was saying “Be brave, do not be afraid”!
Courbet’s “Origin of the World” is one of the strongest nudes in European painting. Even recently it was censored on Facebook and other public media. It is often reinterpreted by contemporary artists. Her directness cannot leave us indifferent.
Courbet’s painting was commissioned by a male collector, intended to male viewers, with a male way of looking at the subject. I wanted turn this image into a not voyeuristic view of the female body. The structure of the composition is reminiscent of Courbet ‘s painting. However the position evokes the reality of a gynecological examination. The sensual pleasure that we find in Courbet’s original is absent. The dark atmosphere, the biblical inscription on the chest, the image format, all these elements form my intention of reaching beyond Courbet’s intention.
Before I start any picture, and before even formulating the basic settings, I implement a series of informal interviews with the model. These interviews are aimed at finding those important truths which the model wants to express with an inscription on her body. The model herself is therefore included in the creation of the image. The next step is to start shooting photos. When I get a better understanding of the model, she is then required to figure a way out of a imaginary situations. That’s the most fertile moment. Unexpected things start to take place.
That is what happened in this picture. The model had chosen to write out the word TRUTH in different languages on her chest.
Then she started to remove the inscription. That moment created multiple ways of reading and interpreting this image.
The Three Graces is the first painting from this series. I think of it as a zero image in this order, because it is the only painting that was based on a reference found on the Internet. In European painting there is a great tradition of dealing with current social conditions through visual material taken from the media. After this one painting though, I started to work only with my models, who provided me with wider possibilities of expression. This work has helped me highlighting the way in which I want to develop my painting.
` The medium is, indeed, already a message. It has been half a century since Marshall McLuhan asserted that the medium, not the content, should be the focus of our attention. Thus, the question arises for an audience, and an art audience in particular- are we mature enough to finally move the borders of our perception of an artwork, and enjoyment in it, to the understanding of that which resides deeper, beneath the appearance?
This is precisely the level at which we start comprehending the work of Boris Lukić as a multi-layered oeuvre that reveals the complexity of the theme that can be interpreted from the nude figures with the headings. The meanings of the headings are so general and we have been made aware of them on so many occasions that any reading of them outside of this context would render them pointless and deprived of any power. Moreover, we have been unsettled by these very words for decades because of their dangerous potential to be misused. In fact, they have been misused numerous times throughout the twentieth century and it would upset us to see them on banners or walls, in the newspapers, political campaigns, or news…or in the artworks that depict the words in these contexts. But what happens with all these notions when they are slogans on the nude female bodies, shrieks that each model chooses for herself?
Let us go back to the medium as a means, a message carrier. In the case of Boris Lukić the medium is, on the first level, an oil on canvas painting. What does it suggest? It definitely represents the continuation of Western European tradition of painting, and in particular the continuation of figuration and representation of the nude figure. Has not Lukić been learning from great masters in the hope that, first as a beholder and later on as a painter himself, he would be able to move the boundaries that we have mentioned above as the boundaries that have to be moved by an audience as well? Has the perception of the nude evolved and are we ready for the new interpretation of it?
Beneath the appearance, beneath the “oil on canvas”, we encounter the medium that is also visually a message carrier. The female body becomes what the canvas initially was, and the painter’s job, the brushwork, on a deeper level becomes a heading. Not a random, accidental heading unrelated to the model. These headings are the messages on behalf of the models, and not on behalf of the painter. Did the woman from the painting finally speak out and did she become the carrier of the message?
Lukić’s paintings are not a mere continuation of Western European tradition, but rather they emerged as the consequence of the careful reading of that tradition with the intention of prolonging it in an innovative way. In the spirit of the contemporary age, the woman in the role of a model ceases to be a silent object for the male gaze.
Vladimir Dimovski, PhD