Luca Bray is a profoundly introspective artist. His muted color palette, diffusion of the picture plane, and juxtaposition of meditative atmospheres with underlying energy imbue each work with a sophistication and clarity of expression. Bray’s poignant canvases evoke a strong sense of nostalgia—the intangibility of line; intermittent, fragmentary sentences; and nebulous forms all hint that the artist is searching for a hidden meaning, just beyond our grasp.
Born in Italy, Bray attended the Fine Arts Academy of Brera in Milan where he graduated with First Class Honors and the Painting Prize. In Italy, Bray participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions before re-locating to Mexico, where he currently lives and works. His work is housed in numerous public collections, including the Sinaloa Modern Art Museum; the Daniel Chappard Foundation, Venezuela; the Morelia Contemporary Art Museum, Mexico; Amparo Museum, Mexico; and the Bancomer Cultural foundation, Mexico. His work is held in private collections in France, Italy, Spain, San Salvador, Venezuela, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Canada, New York, Washington, and Chicago.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
My life is the one and only influence of my work. I need to constantly travel, discover, breathe foreign cities and make them my own. I am inspired profoundly by the people by the people I meet, those whose paths cross with mine. Each moment, each person, each story becomes an impression which I document in my 'personal diary' and as soon as I return to my studio, I transfer these impressions onto the canvases before me.
How has Mexico and Milan impacted your art?
I didn't spend much time in Milan. Straight after University I went to Mexico for vacation and decided to stay. What has influenced me is the constant travel and seeing new places. In Milan in was constant study, and the eternal search to find my own style. Not an easy feat! Arriving in Mexico my search became the need to perfect my style.
Other painters who's work you admire?
I have tremendous admiration for Cy Twombly. I am extremely attracted to his work and the language his images create.
Favorite galleries in Latin America we should know about?
Mexico is rich with art, galleries, collectors and an extremely vibrant art world in general. Their proposal is always avant garde. I truly appreciate the Kurimanzutto Gallery in Mexico City.
Favorite websites/art blogs?
Blogs: Zoom 96.
What do you love most about New York City?
My love with New York is rooted in its multiple facades. Its people make New York so unique in the world. The people are the vibrant heart of the New York streets, without them, New York would be just another wonderful city.
Anything else you would like to share with our audience?
Simply that my work is completely intuitive, visceral and immediate. I don't sketch before painting, I don't 'prep', once i'm standing before the white canvas it all comes to me. My need to play with the surface and bathe it in colour, light, words, etc. brings me to start placing my hands all over it. My process is one of elimination. I place the elements and then one by one remove them until I'm left with the perfect dialogue between myself and the canvas. I work as if I was in a heated conversation with the image and it basically talks back, telling me what it needs and how I should go about achieving it. The end result is only definite once that conversation has ceased and we are both breathing harmoniously. I then light a cigarette and smoke.