Issue September 1, 2009

Profile: Thea Lura

Not even “bad” artwork gets much criticism in saccharine America, but provocative artist Thea Lura welcomes it. Getting a reaction generally means she has succeeded in pushing audiences to think about the concepts she projects in her work. Questioning the meaning and role of art, death and religion in modern life, Lura’s inspiration is to dive into The Heavy. Playing with deeper meaning in her folk paintings, she also uses an atypically colorful and playful style for such complex ideas.

Collaborating with fellow artist Jacob Heustis, Lura’s most recent installation, “Enough is Enough,” used the gallery as the pivotal piece. Lining the walls with illegible writing, the same scribble contained in hand-crafted books placed in glass cases in roped off rooms, the work questioned the role of galleries in determining artistic quality and what effect this has on artists and viewers alike.