Luke Chueh is turning several things inside out - and doing so with a deliberately understated style that prompts thought in the viewer after (of course) the immediate smile. The notion of change, transformation, or metamorphosis is in this instance given an ironic twist, since it is obvious from the discarded elements in the picture that our ursine friend is not really changing one bit. Chueh might be alluding directly or indirectly here to the traditional matryoshka or babushka dolls of Russia - carved "nesting" figures that separate one after another until a final figure remains. If so, it is a metaphorically rich allusion and one that leads to a myriad number of questions. Are we ever really different after we shed our skins or change our minds? If not, is the process a futile one or one that at least permits us the comforting illusion that a "new" sameness is preferable to a stagnant one? There is neither frown nor smile visible on the fellow's face(s), so the answers (if truly needed) must come from us.
ABOUT Luke Chueh:
Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) studied graphic design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obipso where he earned a BS in Art & Design. He was then employed by the Ernie Ball Company, working in-house as designer/illustrator where he created several award winning designs and was featured in the design annuals of Communication Arts and Print Magazine.
In 2003, Chueh moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in design. However, a lack of employment opportunities left him resorting to painting as a way to keep busy. From there, he got his start showing in the Los Angeles underground art scene, specifically in the Cannibal Flower art shows. Since then Chueh has quickly worked his way up the ranks of the LA art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy.
Chueh's work has been featured in galleries around the world, and some of his paintings have also been reinterpreted into vinyl toys.
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