Lucas Noël Thomas is a French-Puerto Rican artist, writer, and graphic designer from New York.
The canvas becomes a soundboard for my ideas; the good, the bad; it all bounces back to me, informing where I might go next. To work in this way is a compulsion, an innate urge that pokes and prods at me, pushes me to work until my practice turns to obsession. I’ve found that this process lends itself to larger surfaces, as it allows my ideas to unfurl organically, and so I prefer to cover the wall with canvas and make mural-sized pieces; however even when I work small, I maintain the same ethos.The alien figures and structures that I create have ample room to grow within these spaces, to evolve in real time; a necessity when working through sheer intuition. In doing so, the ideas slowly start to surface as I watch each component of a piece coalesce into a whole. That’s when I enter the realm of thought. When the morsels of my ideas are reined in, when people start to emerge from shapes, while others get blotted out and become the background. This is when I look to the works of Basquiat, Nicole Eisenman, Henry Darger, and the Chicago Imagists for inspiration. When I start to build my world—a world of chaos, noise, and nonsense; fast and frenetic; a sucker punch to the senses—there’s an ‘oh wow’ moment that comes with a gasp. A gasp of life filled to the brim with grimy glory. Each piece becomes its own entity, a self-sufficient world that lives and dies by its content. All of these ones might die, but they’ll be reborn anew. Be it on the same canvas or as something else entirely.
Accordingly, my work is mostly comprised of malformed representations of peoples. Some are jesters, others monkeys, and others just men and women in various states of ruin. They’re falling apart, crumbling underneath the scrutiny of the viewer. But they aren’t weak or frightened by an outward gaze. They’re just there, exposed to the world without a façade of niceties to hide behind. Confronting the viewer with their presence alone, they are without judgment, made beautiful by confidence.
They’re angels, then they’re demons; fighters, then lovers; jesters, and then kings; all of these things and then none of them. They live unabashed, unafraid of the world and all of its perceptions of what they might be. They live just how they are born, without any preconceptions tacked onto them. And that allows them to grow without being bogged down by ego, by others.
It allows the ugly to become beautiful, clowns to become queens.