San Francisco-based Artist Lucky Rapp is a self-taught visual artist with a background in fashion and art. Her methodology incorporates layers of resin, paint, and acrylic forms that create texture and depth within the dialogue of her work. Lucky’s approach is process-oriented, physical and often text-based. The end result combines inquisitive statements that play with both language and the potency of graphic communication, while the three-dimensional nature of the layered resin fosters a sculptural reflective quality.
I spoke to Lucky about her latest project with ArtHaus Gallery and the integration of C2 Paint in her work.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came upon art as a profession?
I was a window decorator at Engelhorn und Sturm in Mannheim Germany. This job ignited my creativity, though I was not yet a full-time artist. At the time, I had an art gallery in my apartment called Gallery 7 with themed concepts, from the invitations to the install of the Venesages. Every 3 months, I would have an art opening, drawing crowds of people. It was great fun! I serendipitously returned to San Francisco, working first at La Boulange because it was the easiest transition coming from living in Paris and Germany to becoming a full-time artist. I wanted to work with the same product I used many times at Engelhorn und Sturm to seal paint. It would make the paint crackle and age like it was from the 1800’s. It would cause rashes on my neck and wrists. Through this research, I found resin, which is also a toxic substance before cured. I seem to be attracted to toxic substances. In time, I was working at La Boulange full-time and on my art full-time. I decided to take the risk and focus on my artwork and turn to it as a profession.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken for art?
The biggest risk I’ve taken is a combination of things such as investing time, labor, and materials in large pieces, expression through words and working with propane and epoxy resin. There are a lot of logistics when pouring resin. The particular resin I use has an approximate 10 minute working time before it starts to react and thicken so it is very risky to pour multiple pieces at once. I have to meticulously plan which pieces can be poured on a specific day and then wait for them to cure before moving onto another batch or layer.
Using propane and epoxy resin is always a great risk and takes full concentration on every level. I have to wear full-body protective PPE and a mask that protects my eyes and lungs from solvents. Additionally, I have to observe weather conditions like temperature, humidity, and wind which can change the workability and cure time of the resin. There are so many elements and factors at play.
Word choices are always risky. Art is left to interpretation and when your artwork includes text sometimes it can be even more so. Words are subject to both interpretation and misinterpretation of the messages I’m trying to convey.
A piece that comes to mind that encompasses all of these factors is my largest piece ‘reflections’ which is a puzzle-like collection of 13 panels in varying sizes and depths. Aside from the usual risks with epoxy resin and text, it was a project that took hours of designing and redesigning. It had to be looked at from all angles to see that it functioned visually. I had to think about the install of the piece as well as the individual pieces. I’ve installed it 4 times with Matt McKinley Art Solutions and it takes 4 hours using an install map that Matt created every single time. For a working artist, investing large amounts of time into one piece can be one of the largest risks.
by Tia Clarida