Luca Nicholas: Studies 2017–18
Curated by Francis McWhannell as part of the 2021 Auckland Pride Festival
10% of the proceeds of sales will be donated to RainbowYOUTH
Opening: Wednesday 10 February, 6:00–8:00pm
Studies 2017–18 centres on a series of works based on self-portrait photographs cribbed from the ‘social networking’ app Grindr. Using the unforgiving medium of etching, Luca Nicholas creates images that convey the coexistent senses of community and isolation, intimacy and distance that mark many encounters on this platform and others like it. His meticulously executed works query the extent to which the original photographs are staged and the extent to which they might be honest to a fault. They also evoke the process of managing expectations enacted by app-users, as these individuals attempt to imagine physicality and personality alike by way of limited cues. Nicholas exhorts us to consider the intricacies inherent in our changing relationships with our bodies and the bodies of others. The nude or semi-nude selfie becomes a marker of a moment that might sometimes appear cavalier and self-indulgent, but that is in truth characterised by a tangle of complex behaviours—to which we must respond with commensurate complexity.
Luca Nicholas is an early-career artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. He concentrates on printmaking, using a range of processes to explore queer experiences with humour and pathos. With one exception, the etchings in Studies 2017–18 are based on photographs cribbed from the ‘social networking’ app Grindr. Nicholas records the bodies and rooms that appear in the images with great care, drawing attention to the acts of construction and vulnerability involved in making a connection.