Stephan Lupino, world-renowned name of art photography artist of diverse interests, which in recent years increasingly reifies in the works of the high range. His photography (to a lesser extent a component of this exhibition), especially those carrying a particular erotic sensual charge, a sense of sensuality of the body, space and light atmosphere of the scene. Other motives (and often a full cycle) make present state of mild metaphisical and is sufficient, for example, that one flower with its shape, delicacy and color accent in the width of the environment becomes a sign of greatness of creation. Lupino with his sensibility for the beauty in the idea links the attractiveness of women and the apparent insignificance of the fragile flower. With the eye of the camera Lupino has created works both intimate and representative and designed extraordinary art visible in different aspects of artistic expression...
It is interesting his fascination with sculpture (already present in the early years of his work) concretized into intriguing works of substantial and distinctive plastic. Lupino's inspiration was also inspired by the biblical description of the lost states of the Eden purity and the characters that have marked the history of the ancient world and our days, with mythological and legendary features. Lupino reveals the essence of life, behavior, event-related entities that are retained in the memory of mankind to date...
In the 1980s in Down Town, New York, when Stephan Lupino was a desirable sex symbol in the media, he was drawn to art. Grown on a foam of fashionable whirlpool and socializing with world famous artists and powerful people from the media in New York clubs he was recognized by “Details", "Vogue", "Photo", "Zoom", "Europeo", "L'Espresso", "Playboy" and other world magazines. During that period, he was already accumulating the magic of signs, shapes, colors and fed himself with the words of relevant curators and authentical artists. He soaked in ART intermediately and on spot breathing in to the full all that powerful strength that radiated off the shapes. For some time he was satisfied with a mechanical and technological trick by which photography could freeze people in time. However, at the same time, he was looking for his own ideas of how to shape and reshape the things he xperienced. He sketched signs that appeared in space like a bolt, on papers we came across. We need them in order to be able to decipher hot magma called life.
The world in 2013 isn't the same one as it was in the 1980s and a lot has changed on the global level. The creativity strength ''exploded'' in Lupino. There are no exact rules what comes out first after hundreds of sketches: relief, sculpture or a picture. The same motive, adjusted to nature of the material, can sometimes be transferred into all three media. His works are created randomly and in cycles. He moves like a knight in the game of chess giving himself up to wolf's instinct-a term that is even hidden inside his surname. He caught cosmic essence of life-erotica as a foundation of descriptive form. Everything comes from erotica-each movement and each evil, all its beauty and mysterious attractiveness but also irony pointed in all directions. His works are dedicated to Aphrodites, Modern Evas, Hermaphrodites, Predators, Bisexuals, Voodoo Dancers, Fashion Models, Lesbians, famous lovers Cesar and Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe- the icon of the 20th century, etc. In the mixture of finely shaped wood and sharp metal parts, each of his sculptures is attractive and hideous at the same time. Hidden dose of poison is present behind the magic of movements that the artist pays a special attention to. That banal truth is celebrated and shaped by flexing polishing machine, welding machines, layers being taken off, and growing into space built by himself but also with the help of experts and specialists who, we can say, are the part of artistic atelier of Stephan Lupino. He studied available literature, saw other people's works and he has also surrounded with artists and friends who encourage him. Far away from the harmony of art and form that is, by the way, abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century, in the relation of DESIGN AND ART that fertilize and devour each other grow Lupino's works-signs, symbols, movement, flatness, perfection of craft, unique rusticality, humor and irony, internationalism and curiosity, omnipresent-lupinism. Stephan Lupino violently roots out those artificial woods of constructions and deconstructions, spelling and speech, sense and nonsense. Sparkling of the spirit and catching splinters and spunks in the net of authentical artifacts is that kind of creative ossification of paper entries. Behind heavy resistant iron and oak there are loud heart beeps. Finally, imprinting the clay with his own seal, Lupino created bronz Beauty who stands on her toes and is caught while walking. She is rooted in heavy thrones and stands there proudly like an ensign who waves with a flag of lupinism on the scaffold of modern art.
With centuries old oak wood in which he inscribed unique messages to lovers, I would say, using sings and symbols, he literally walled in his photographies that brought him international popularity. An intensive involvement in numerous sculptural, mechanical and woodwork ateliers, almost without a breath and pushed by creativity passion only, Stephan Lupino followed his authentic and original 'lupinism'. There is no simple way to describe the variety of media and multi-layers of the thread of his ideas and work. The shapes which he left without their initial purpose such as the throne-chairs, reliquaries, sarcophagi, tables, mirrors etc. he used to condemn the society and give an ironic image of the fallen idols (Mao Tse-tung, sarcophagus of former Yugoslavia etc.). He created a wide range of anti-thrones which are in fact a blitz-guide through major civilizations from the Ancient Egypt to present days.
Using cuttings, codes and symbols in metal and wooden parts of bizarre throne – chairs, he performs his artistic rituals of multi-layering and creating novel totems. It is not about inscribed ornaments of Guiseppe Penona's mysterious archetype-kind, and even less about political installations such as those by Komar & Melamid in their New York MOME collection. Put in a row Lupino's throne-chairs are read as formational bibliography in alphabetical order of a self-taught artist, who is neither naive nor postmodern incomplete but rather an author of purified and self-sufficient lupinism. The robust and heavy wood of the chairs and their backs is enriched with inscribed ornaments in such a way like they have been there forever. Metal frameworks of unique objects evoke blur memories of silvery manuscripts and fighting knights' armors thus being the representation of the author's inward fights, and his fights with the outer world.
A special attention goes to Lupino's newest works with political connotations such as the 'Chinese garden' which is a symbol of the previous beauty of the world that today 'pollutes' itself with gigantic amount of useless and one-time-basis-used products, or the picture 'American Dream' formed on drawing effects of the American flag that as such represents a homage to pop art. An important fact about this is that its layout was made in Thailand in 2012 which gives the picture an additional importance in interpreting the American omnipresence. The author approaches each topic individually thus making cycles in range from ready-made compositions to sculptor's inscribed ornaments, from original shapes of welding iron with silvery look to enormous pictures with heavy frames and independent legs. Between the pictures and their frames there is no difference what so ever. Together they form Lupino's artistic installations which are based on the contrast between illusory golden embroidered edges, contemporary fashion drawings, symbolism of fine eroticism and medieval Griffons with terrifying messages. Lupino's 'designed' pictures are a contemporary match of medieval flat visions and a choice of colors from Delaunay's 'Simultaneous circles' as well as the techniques close to the graffiti street art. They all came to be in an ecstatic breath of the artist and they all carry Lupino's touch of originality.
Finally, how to make a proper conclusion of this short piece of writing which gives an insight of only the basic coordinates of a complex, immense, explosive and engaged Lupino's work, the 80s media star, who shows up out of the blue like a comet in a night sky. To name it 'Lupinism' is the best and the most credible thing to do. Further observations, analyses, criticism or pure experience is yet to come.
Text: Branka Hlevnjak
Translated by: Karlo Kraljev, Dolores Stančić
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