For inquiries and pricing, email: lucas at lucasnovak.com
Art is about creating what is human. By understanding myself, and by being engaged with culture, society, and the natural world, I create work that I, and hopefully others, want to see.
My work aims to transcend cultures and borders by touching on the universal, not by photographic fidelity, but at exposing some essential or universal quality of humankind. For example, tragedy may take an aesthetic value, by delivering us from the strife of the individual will, and enabling us to see our suffering in a larger view. Creating art helps me alleviate the ills of life by exploring the eternal and universal behind the transitory and the individual.
In doing so, I am required to expand and refine my life in general. For example, in the early 20th century, United States Supreme Court Justice, Felix Frankfurter, was asked by a young man how to become a great lawyer. He advised the man not to limit his studies to the law, but to embrace the study of all fields, such as history, art, literature, science, other cultures, and the environment. I think the same wisdom applies to people who want to be great artists.
About fifty years later, art critic Clement Greenberg wrote in his essay Esthetic Judgment: To keep on expanding your esthetic taste asks that you keep on expanding and refining your sense of life in general. To further develop your taste in art, he advises that you keep on learning from life apart from art.
My life apart from art includes education and experience as an attorney. This affects and influences my art in unique ways. The general assumption is that the two fields are unrelated, and there are indeed obvious differences, such as the craft aspect or the unknowable, irrational, and often messy side of art making. However, the two fields overlap in significant ways. To name a few, they each benefit from an analytical mind, an understanding of social institutions, cultures, human struggles, hierarchical structures, inequalities in life, and abstract concepts, while relying on empathy and emotional intelligence. After all, art is not simply about craft – we are not constructing windows.
So I follow the wisdom of Greenberg and Justice Frankfurter in pursuing my endless mission to grow, refine, and create more influential and meaningful work that transcends cultures and borders and reaches greater audiences. And I am inspired that two of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky, were also lawyers.
Lucas Novak lives and works in Los Angeles, California, and has been creating art since the turn of the millennium. Always focusing on some essential or universal quality of humankind, his art often portrays the human response to natural phenomena, such as isolation, through an amalgamation of abstract and representational elements in painting, sculpture, and video. He has lived in New York where he won first prize in professional painting at the New York State Fair (2006) while completing his Master's degree at Syracuse University, concentrating on experimental video and stop-motion animation.
He believes there comes a large responsibility with labeling oneself an artist. For him it requires a respect for others and an interest in the planet and its life forms. He thirsts for knowledge and experiences, visiting new places and meeting people, learning about local events and global trends. He enjoys nature and the outdoors, washing his spirit clean on a mountain or at the beach.
Syracuse University College of Law: J.D.
Syracuse University: M.F.A. (with concentration in experimental film)
University of California, Santa Barbara: B.A. (with studio credits from School of the Art Institute of Chicago)