An Exclusive Interview with Luba Lukova, by Maria Papaefstathiou for GRaphicART-news.com
“I’d be happy if people can recognize my work without reading my name.”
I had the pleasure and honor to host in graphicart-news, my favorite, the most distinctive artist Luba Lukova.
Luba Lukova is an exceptional artist with an international recognition based on her very powerful and provoking posters. She uses metaphors, symbols, bold, clean graphics on strong colors to convey her ideas and emotions on social and political issues. Her posters are exhibited around the world and have won many awards. Luba is not only an exceptional artist but an amazing personality as well, with a noble heart and love in humanity, something you can see in her art also.
Well, I’ve always thought that style is a superficial thing and I’ve never wanted to do stylish work. I think what makes art recognizable and memorable is not the style but the ideas and emotions it conveys. If there is something that unites everything I do, this is, I guess, my interest in humanity and my pursuit of expressing complex ideas in an accessible way.
I’m really flattered if that’s true. I’d be happy if people can recognize my work without reading my name. That happens to me with the artists I love. I like art that has character. You can hear just one note sung by your favorite musician and you know it’s him or her. I think that’s a quality that not many artists posses. And again, this has nothing to do with style. This is a feature that’s uniquely yours, like the color of your eyes, you can’t escape from it. And they don’t teach you about it in art school. In fact, too much education can stifle it.
Education is very important. I think it’s almost impossible to make it in this profession just by intuition, without any schooling. Especially in design, there are things you need to learn from other practitioners. It’s necessary to meet a couple of good teachers in the beginning of your carrier, and then continue to learn on your own every day. It’s crucial to learn from good artists though. Otherwise, a young person can be quite confused in art school. That’s why too much education can be wrong sometimes.
What contemporary artists do you admire? Who or what are some of your influences?
I admire artists who search for the answers to the difficult questions in life and dig deeply into the human soul. I’ve been greatly influenced by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Kollwitz, Picasso, Goya, Chaplin, to name a few.
My first poster was for a theatre production based on Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry. It was called There Is No Death for the Songs. I had just graduated and got a job as a designer in a theatre company in a small town in Bulgaria, where I’m originally from. This was the first show I had to design. I’m happy and honored that this poster is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
We all as people have that longing for justice. Being an artist, I try to express that through my work. In a way, I try to satisfy that need by creating my images. I think that if I’m able to speak with my art, I should use that skill to tell the truth so that many people can understand it. Because when people are able to relate to an issue, hopefully they can act and make a positive change.
Ha, that’s funny! I don’t want to hide anything about me. In my work I try to put out everything that matters to me.
There has never been a bad moment. I love what I do and I embrace everything. The best part is always the reaction of the people. I’m the happiest person when I see that they respond to my work.
Here are 5 things that, I think, are equally important:
learn every day,
listen to your heart, and
love what you do.
In the very near future I have two back-to-back exhibitions. The first one opens on February 2nd in Cleveland, MS. This is the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of Blues. I’m so excited about showing a big collection of my work there, at the Wright Gallery in Delta State University. The second show opens on February 19th at La MaMa Gallery in New York City. I will show there a collection of work included in my upcoming book, “Graphic Guts”.
Thank you dear Luba for being here for us. It was a great honor to me and a great pleasure to my readers.