Lucas Briffa was born and raised in Oakland, California. He received his BA in Visual Arts from Oberlin College in 2012 and is currently pursuing his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Photography. His interest in photography, inherited from his grandfather, has remained as a working lens throughout his studies and continues to inform his practice as an artist.

Personal Statement

Through sculpture, installation, and collage, my work raises questions about the representation of landscape. Working with dated materials, both personal and ubiquitous, I am interested in how images can transform through the process of collage and therefore get historically relocated and contextualized from their previous positions. Landscapes and objects retain a continuity of political and social association while transcending their particularity. This simultaneous transformation and continuity underlines the foundation of my practice.

My work draws from images related to both geography and photography and relates the two in my process. Through calculated extraction, I gather imagery of natural phenomena and then physically build my works according to precise structural guidelines that are derived from the formal and historical relations of my content. This process revolves around similarities between exploration and construction as well as perception and understanding.

In all my work, the collage brings the photograph into the third dimension, yet seeks to obfuscate this translation rather than emphasize it. Whether the physical object is presented on its own or re-photographed in order to obtain its document, the surface operates in conjunction with the image to invert materiality and content.

Similarly, the relationship between object and form is both retained and broken in my work. My methods serve to provoke inspection while remaining enigmatic. Through my exploration of multiple processes, I seek to make visible our perceptual and spatial evaluation of images and address our understanding of content as constantly in a state of flux.

I do not attempt to recreate that which is represented, but rather transform it in order to re-imagine the possibilities of content, both bound and liberated from the original. In some cases, by eliciting a multiplicity of readings (none more realistic than the other), I imagine the space of imagination as one that is itself sublime.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.