(click on any image for larger view)

(click on any image for larger view)

(click on any image for larger view)
(Above) Photograph of the artist, LUCONG aka. Cong Hua Lu

LUCONG IS A PAINTER WHOSE WORK IS QUITE INCREDIBLE. I haven’t seen a portrait artist of his style and caliber in some time. He has a unique stylization about his subjects that puts him in a unique position creatively. I think it best to let the artist tell you about his work. Let me know what you think about this work—I’d like to hear from you.

“I was born on February 22nd, 1978, in Shanghai, China, to Joy Wang and Yade Lu. It was near the end of a very different era. I remember growing up with all the amenities that a mid-20th century Socialist utopia provides; long lines, homemade fashion, patriotic songs, and most of all, an atmosphere strangely devoid of culture. My early life was comfortable considering the circumstance, for I was the only child in a large and well-to-do family. I was a content boy, yet a gentle shade of sadness often lingered over me. I spent countless hours daydreaming, drawing, and scrounging for bits and pieces of civilizations past and foreign. My busy imagination would cobble together endless stories and images. What I craved for I cannot say; it always escapes me, evaporating into air like smoke before my eyes.

1989 was the year that my world changed. In October of that year, my mother and I immigrated to the US to join my father in Muscatine, Iowa. I happily embraced my new life, and America warmly embraced me back. I look to my adolescent years in Iowa as fondly as anyone lucky enough to have grown up in the idyllic Midwest. During those years I drew fervently, for it was my most articulate voice, and I am grateful for the friendship and admirations it brought me. I drew mostly people; portraits have a spell over me, they speak to me in ways that I cannot recount, they bring me closer to fulfilling that indescribable craving. The good people of Muscatine were gracious. I was asked to paint the town’s grocery store windows at Christmas, and the local VFW commissioned me to paint a proud eagle on their wall. Art, however, was not to be considered a career. My parents were both brilliant scientists, and we all expected the same path for me.

In 2000 I graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Biology. I earned enough drawing and art history credits to receive a BA in Art as well. That the same year I moved to Denver in an effort to delay entry to medical school. There I experienced an entirely different dimension of American life, and along with it glimpses of a destiny that I have always refused to believe to be my own. I rented a small studio on Capital Hill and began to teach myself to paint in oils. Fate was kind to me, for I was quickly recognized for my works. In 2002 I had a brush with infamy with my painting “Self Portrait as a Martyr.” In 2005 I made SW Art Magazine’s annual list of twenty-one artists to watch under the age of 31. In 2008 I was named as one of five “Today’s Masters Making Their Marks” by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. As my life and my art progresses, I have come to cherish and kindle that familiar sentiment I have always felt since I was a boy; it is the longing for something that can never be fully obtained, but only vaguely hinted in the portraits that I try to make.

I am currently living in the lovely state of Colorado with my far lovelier wife Laura McCormick. My paintings can be seen at Gallery 1261 in Denver, and at Vail International Gallery in Vail.”