Its been said, that ONE is a lonely number. The song goes as far as to suggest that ONE is the loneliest number. To be alone is as different from lonely as night is from day. To be alone, outdoors, in the city, during the night, surrounded by carefully cultivated urban landscape, brings about a mysterious independence. Nude Noir, bears witness to the changes in culture, addressing issues of philosophy and identity. Going beyond the Peeping Tom starkness of the lone human form, often catching a glimpse of the unexpected, circling, just around the corner, charged with a mythic, moody energy and a familiar strangeness in the changing texture of the shadowy everyday exoticism.
Titillated by the novelty, intrigued by transitional places, Lucas considers himself fortunate to join the ranks of such nocturnal photographers as English Wartime Bill Brandt and Lee Miller who also used the blanket of dusk, moonlight, and a darkened sky to convey a sense of mystery and place. Marked by atmosphere, revealing dramatic angles and lighting, Lucas brings a new eloquence to the unusual arrangements he finds startling relationships of new and old. Positioning himself in just the right location to capture the variety of patterns that make the night transform into abstractions of black and white, while illuminating aspects of the land that would otherwise remain hidden or unseen.
No longer an ancient moonlit land, these are spaces of plenty, of magic powers, of glistening monolithic shafts rising out of the dark canyon of secret places. In the darkness, these structures appear to stand without means of support creating an unexplained terrain. Architecture and art has defined the elements of human existence since the birth of humanity itself. A product of dreams and aspirations, economic and social needs, the city defines the characteristics of its urban landscape and becomes a part of the culture that creates it as the great cathedrals were a part of the middle ages or the pyramids were to the Ancients.
The enormous scale of each site combined with a singular human form dramatizes the response and relationship of each. Cosmopolitan individualism seducing architectural compositions with figural expressionism while bragging, visually stimulating phallic imagery evokes generational ideas of plenty. Oversized and bestial, undulating and provocative receptive spheres of pre historic magnitude - the quintessential maiden preparing herself for life fulfillment. A complex interaction between these two domains of cultural perspective, both shifting and each showing the continuality re-mixing into the Ying and Yang of the 21st century. High drama, smoldering excitement of the night will undermine the routine dullness of the day.
There is no question that the expressive human sprit requires form and that size and symmetry requires function. Necessitating additional investment of time, effort and money that goes beyond utilitarianism the aesthetic impulse to form on a grand scale reinterpretation of cultural styles layered with fragments, symbols and motifs of timeless themes. Conceptual designs for symbiotic lifestyles stylized and distinctively represented in the one nude figure amongst the sea of modern marvels virtually unprotected from the seedy composites of vandalism, graffiti and neglect- seriously comprised by the further degradation of the effects of aging, weather and easy access, unseen in the dark.
A medium of ideas and imagination as much as of material substance, the cityscape pervades almost every aspect of daily life for its occupants. This pervasive quality derives not only from the sheer immensely and physical splendor of the architecture but also from the multitude of ways we have encountered, constructed and photographed it over time. Stieglitz, Brassai, Genthe, and Steichen, all made notable nocturnal images. But it is Brassai's studies of 1930s Paris after dark that inspires Lucas work and this series.
A citys skyline seems to carry an element of magic and to generate much of the citys allure. Here is a veritable sea of giant buildings, towers, minuets and obelisks, an array of lavish structures that would have stunned the most imaginative builders of Babylon. Much like the ancient structures, our modern skyline is moving, powerful and breathtaking. It has a presents and sprit that cannot be denied. It is also a work of man, not of nature. Yet it is every bit a thing of beauty and dramatic force. Our skylines are monumentally a symbol of aggressive achievement that is matchless in the history of the human race. Just like a beautiful woman, the city is a symbol of style, substance and prosperity.