Michael Lucero and the Lady with two curls (with references)

Essay by y2114University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

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Michael Lucero and the Lady with Two Curls

Michael Lucero's artwork expands traditional Western ideas about what art is, the origin of art, and how to unify cultural artifact-styled pieces in a utilitarian way. His work is distinguished by the different ways that he incorporates many cultures including Pre-Columbian, Native American, European, Afro-Carolinian, and the vernacular and popular media. This fusion helps our own understanding of art on a different level; one centered around the oneness of all cultures, identities, and societies.

Michael Lucero was born and raised in suburban California. As a child, he and his family often made summer visits to his maternal grandparents' house in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Their adobe style house was very different from the modern style of his house in California. He was amazed by the Native American artwork in the area, and would always play in the arroyo that his grandparents lived on the edge of.

Above all, he enjoyed playing with reptiles, amphibians, and insects. This playing often carries over into his work, when illustrating a certain animal or insect on his pieces. His undergraduate work was done at Humboldt State University, and in 1978, he received his M.F.A. degree from the University of Washington. There he mostly worked with shards, and concentrated mostly on scale and how the sculptured form is presented or displayed. Traditionally, most sculpted pieces are displayed on pedestals of some sort, but he chose to suspend many of his pieces, in free form, from the ceiling. Soon after receiving his graduate degree, he moved to New York to continue his work in ceramics and later abruptly stopped working in ceramics, and started to work on bronze sculpture. Though raised Catholic, he recently discovered that his ancestral past is linked to the Sephardic strain...