South-London artist Lucas Dupuy creates abstracted art through a stylistic combination of painting, design and drawing. With the aim to focus strongly on shape and experimental digital imagery, Lucas brings forth a new language — one that he can relate to personally from his experiences with dyslexia.
“For the past six months I have been exploring the subject of learning to read and write with dyslexia. I have been referencing my personal experiences and exploring how they have affected my learning as a child,” Lucas explains. “When learning to read, I found that the shape of words were often blurred and would jump across the page. My recent paintings make use of the symbols that stand in for something unreadable.”
The juxtaposition between the digital and the physical is key throughout Lucas’ work. As an embodiment of the struggle and complexities that were obtained through learning, the resulting imagery portrays an open dialogue between the artist and his tools — one tool in particular. “To describe these language forms that I experienced while learning to read, I have been using a spray gun to give the effect of blurriness. This tool has been a key part in my process, as it allows me to build contrast within the works.”
“The main process has been to remember those experiences from when I was younger, but to also look at how my dyslexia affects me now,” Lucas tells It’s Nice That. “My works on paper refers to both the page and the book, sometimes referencing handwriting and spelling worksheets. Alongside what these things offer me conceptually, I am also interested in their formal structure. Using these factors as a starting point, they allow me to play with composition, form, repetition and design.”
Lucas’ process begins with a multitude of preparation — including sanding, stretching and priming. From this, he then draws out two main elements that form his work: “one is the hard-edged line and the other is the blurred line,” he explains. “Building up these two elements within painting and drawing is essential. The rest of the process is completely dependent on the day or mood, which always affects the paintings greatly.”
Language and meaning are components that have inspired him throughout his artistic endeavours. “I have really been inspired by artists such as Jonathan Lasker,” says Lucas. “He has built up a very distinct language within his work, such as his paintings which reference abstract symbolism and automatic drawing. His use of symbolism is very relevant to my own practice.”
Further to this, the “inner city environment” in which Lucas grew up in “informed [his] practice to a large extent.” With a strong interest in the structure of the city and the architecture within, its influence heightened his efforts as a designer. “My aunt was a graphic designer — she made intricate drawings with a ruling pen and gouache of abstracted buildings and geometric shapes. Seeing these drawn by her when I was younger really made me want to produce work in a similar way. She ended up giving me her air compressor — I have been using it for the past year to produce all of my recent works.”
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she became online editor in 2022 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.