Painter Luke Chueh creates images of cute creatures in dangerous and tormenting situations. The extremes are a bit jarring and unsettling, but his cartoonish style is visually warm and pleasing.
Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) studied graphic design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obipso where he earned a BS in Art & Design (Graphic Design concentration). He was employed by the Ernie Ball Company, working in-house as designer/illustrator where he created several award winning designs and was featured in the design annuals of Communication Arts and Print Magazine. Meanwhile, he also created, produced, wrote, designed, edited and published “E.X.P.”, a ‘zine dedicated to the “Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)” genre.
In 2003, Chueh moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in design. However, a lack of employment opportunities left him resorting to painting as a way to keep busy (a hobby he picked up while attending Cal Poly). He got his start when the Los Angeles underground art show, Cannibal Flower, invited him to show at their monthly events. Since then Chueh has quickly worked his way up the ranks of the LA art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Chueh’s work has been featured in galleries around the world, and some of his paitnings have also been reinterpreted into vinyl toys.
Mr. Chueh’s work is on display through April 10, 2009 at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, California. Wish I lived closer.