Luke DeLalio has done virtually everything in the arts - from painting to stage directing to music composition to playwriting and filmmaking. His fine art is informed by all this.
A musician since childhood, Luke spent years as a guitarist, record producer and audio engineer before tinnitus ended that aspect of his career. He pivoted into stage directing, and then playwriting. Somewhere in there he picked up photography, and became a sought after headshot photographer in NYC. Drawing and painting as his principle focus came late—he was in his mid-forties and, like usual, looking for a new challenge.
Luke’s art is heavily influenced by the techniques and thinking behind rock record production and multitrack recording. Often pieces begin as a fairly complete drawing (a “rough take,” in audio parlance), and then additional layers are added over that (“overdubbing”), often with bits of the preceding peeking through. The results are a mix of immediacy and thoughtfulness, looseness and precision.
Poetry and song lyrics exert a presence in much of Luke’s work. Most images are poetic in nature, hinting at ideas obliquely, leaving the viewer to puzzle out themes and meaning on their own - riddles not maps. Of course, Luke’s theatre background is obvious in the narrative and character elements which populate much of the work.
In addition to fine art, Luke is a graphic and web designer/developer, and is the founder of Fun Trubble, a bizarre t-shirt company.
In 2009, Luke was named to Long Island Pulse Magazine’s Annual Artist VIP List.
Well, these are a thing these days.
I don’t understand them. I don’t understand why anyone would be interested in the whys or themes of what someone makes as art. Art should present itself unadorned with editorial baggage. And the viewer gets to decide whether or not they like it, whether or not it says anything to them, helps them to feel something, ponder something. I don’t even care what I think; why should you?
I read artist’s statements and they say things like, “I’m a mark maker who is interested in the liminal spaces that engender discourse regarding…”
What the fuck is “mark making”??
I’ve never gone to museum or gallery or exhibit to enter into discourse. I go to… find magic, I suppose.
Magic, because life, especially when it is good, has a magical quality, but most of the time life doesn’t. It is the day to day. When I laugh with friends, or witness something scary or amazing, or get that momentary sense of connection to something huge and unnameable, and “I” vanish for a moment, that’s when I glimpse magic.
Art is there to remind me that there’s magic in life. I lose touch with magic, and art helps me get back in touch. It’s a brief, fleeting experience, usually.
I don’t really have much of an idea when I start a piece. Something—a thought or an image—strikes me as cool, and I start, usually with a charcoal drawing. As I work, hopefully I get some more ideas. I hope for a bunch of happy accident. A piece I’m happy with is a series of happy accidents. Happy accidents are magical.
Sorry. No liminal discourse here. Just things to ponder.
Eek! I used the first person SO much.
Shows and Such (partial list...)
2023 - Show Us What You Got - group show, William Ris Gallery, Cutchoque NY
2018 - Your Friends, Acquaintances, People You Meet - solo show, Sip This, Valley Stream, NY
2016 - A Bunch of Clowns - group show, Ripe Art Gallery, Greenlawn NY
2014 - DeLalio, deGruyl, and Mann - trio show, Ripe Art Gallery, Greenlawn NY
2012 - Peep - solo show, Ripe Art Gallery, Greenlawn NY
2009 - Paintings and Drawings - solo show, Art That Matters, Oyster Bay, New York NY
2009 - In Motion - group show, Art That Matters, Oyster Bay, New York NY
Marcel Proust Character Questionnaire
This questionnaire is the creation of French author Marcel Proust. I take it every few years. Some answers change, others don't. Below is my latest:
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- Sometimes I think it’s surviving all the upheavals of my life that happened when tinnitus changed everything, and that somehow I navigated through all that. Other times, I think my best is yet to come. I prefer to think this.
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
- Sitting and talking and laughing with smart friends over breakfast. After that sort of morning, I step out of clouds and back to earth.
- What is your current state of mind?
- I’m filled with hope and enthusiasm today. And I didn’t even get to have breakfast with friends!
- What is your favorite occupation?
- For myself? Gah! I loved record producing and I loved directing plays. But now I’m older and I don’t know that I would love those things in this new context. In this new context… I love chefs! How amazing is that to cook and make people happy?
- What is your most treasured possession?
- My ’84 Tokai Stratocaster knockoff guitar.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
- I have been trying forever to have myself (and all that is wrong with me) as the greatest love in my life. Love not in a selfish way. I’ve not succeeded yet, though. Either that or The Beatles.
- What is your favorite journey?
- I love walking the HighLine from Penn Station to the Meatpacking District. Driving through Laurel Hollow to the house in which I was raised was also a favorite journey. Can’t do that anymore.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
- Either my sense of humor or my generosity.
- When and where were you the happiest?
- Friends at breakfast, rehearsals for plays, “sumo” wrestling with two year old Rainer on the big bed wearing just our underwear (Full Naked, as Rainer termed it).
- What is it that you most dislike?
- It’s a toss up between wasting time and people that think they know everything. Hmmm…. Wasting time might cover it all.
- What is your greatest fear?
- That really all I am is average with above average delusions.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
- Converting my garage into a recording studio in the pursuit of the quixotic and the past.
- Which living person do you most despise?
- Donald Trump. He’s the shit that unplugged the ass that flooded our country with other shits.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That I walked away from recording 25+ years ago. I should have stuck in the game. I sold myself and my ability to adapt short.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- I would love to be a great singer.
- Where would you like to live?
- Helsinki, Montreal or Providence. I think.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- Stuck doing something boring, or being at someplace boring, with no way to either amuse myself or escape. I fucking HATE being politely bored.
- What is the quality you most like in a man?
- He listens well.
- What is the quality you most like in a woman?
- She listens well.
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
- I judge people too harshly even though I try to say nothing. I’m too fucking sensitive and everything hurts my feelings.
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
- I avoid anyone that always has to be right.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- That they accept me and disregard my many flaws, and like me anyway.
- Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
- How could it be anyone other than Luke Skywalker? He made my first name cool. Before that I wanted to be called Michael or something that would allow me to have my own personalized mini license plate for my bedroom door.
- Whose are your heroes in real life?
- I have a bunch of friends who battle tremendous health issues, and yet they manage to be upbeat and positive. My dad managed this trick. Artistically, I dunno. Hendrix? Bowie? The Beatles? Edvard Munch? Klimt and Schiele?
- Which living person do you most admire?
- Right now, my friend Chris. Who battles health issues and doesn't complain and sets a bar for me.
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- Anything to do with religion or, “They’re very religious.” Prudence and self-control are overrated too. Any virtue taken to a consistent extreme is probably a shitty idea. Telling people your virtues is obnoxious, too.
- On what occasions do you lie?
- To avoid hurting someone or causing a big, stupid emotional blow-out. And to avoid getting caught in my own incompetence, which I find I am doing less and less (and which I could be lying about).
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
- ”Dandy.” I say that all the time as a more peppy version of “ok.” Stupid.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- I wish I was more handsome. Not by a lot, but by enough.
- What are your favorite names?
- Guinevere. And I love my children’s names, Morgen and Rainer. The whole thing is positively medieval.
- How would you like to die?
- Quickly. Unless it was spectacular, like being eaten by a killer whale with a crowd watching.
- If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
- What would really be fucked up is if I came back as the killer whale that just ate me!
- What is your motto?
- It used to be “Bold Optimism,” and then for a while it turned into, “When will this end?” Lately, it’s been “What are you waiting for?” They're really the same, though, aren't they