Marne Lucas (b. 1968) is a photographer and multi-disciplinary artist living and working in New York City and Portland, Oregon. Her investigations of nature, culture and the body frequently employ sensual metaphor with humor, and use photography, video and installation to present unique aesthetic or social philosophies.
In photography, Lucas collaborates extensively behind and in front of the camera, and is known for her stylistic portraits. Working entirely on-location in nature, the studio or a fantasy setting; a fortuitous balance of art direction and individuality appears in the images. Celebrating the body in the historically male tradition of erotic tableaux, she photographs both male and female nudes. Her artist portrait series 'Sitting City' shares an intuitive approach, merging beauty and intimacy and revealing nuances of identity. An ongoing self-portraits series since 1997 'MLSP' (Marne Lucas Self-Portrait) portrays a parade of characters, in various urban locales and in nature, making commentary about beauty, the feminine, changing social attitudes and gender.

'Bardo' is a new multi-media project exploring creativity as a form of spiritual end-of-life care, illuminating the positive effects of art as mind and body are integrated, coupled with relics from those journeys. Photographing hospice patients and working with them to express artistic endeavors that best represent their legacy, the aim is to help the dying attain peace and acceptance in the face of death.

Her multi-channel infrared (IR) video installation 'Incident Energy' (2013-14) with Jacob Pander, used heat sensitive imaging cameras to reference surveillance culture and the fragility of human existence. Transporting the viewer into an "'otherworld' space by the intersection of art and technology, the work posed questions about how the advancement of surveillance culture continues to change human interaction in creative or philosophical ways. Range Phenomenology (infrared) associated with military, border or aerial surveillance visualizes the surreal beauty of heat-signatures radiating from the corporeal, offering a glimpse of our temporal coalescence of ancient stellar energy, and draws upon analogies about the universe: that we are truly beings of light. Their most famous work is probably 'The Operation' (1995) an award-winning erotic short film made with the same thermal imaging technology to depict an eerie, sci-fi, surgeon/patient coupling in an operation room theater; the result merged fine art, invasive surveillance technology and the body. Setting the stage for provocative expression of heat signatures with a bold new way of observing both surface and subcutaneous flesh, the film became a cult classic.

For the past few years she has worked closely with sculptor Bruce Conkle on their invented genre of 'Eco-Baroque' art, creating elaborate Nature-inspired elaborate installations made from recycled or natural materials. Exploring nature and regionalism with a wry reverence, they present eco-based philosophies about humanity and have exhibited in the 2012 Mongolia 360 Land Art Biennial, Portland2010 Oregon Art Biennial and at The Art Gym.

Previously a harm reduction activist, she co-curated the 'Danzine Retrospective' (NYC) with Teresa Dulce (founding director of the now defunct non-profit organization Danzine) as part of 'At The Mercy Of Others: The Politics of Care', organized by the 2004-05 Whitney Museum ISP Fellows. She served as co-curator to the 'Sex By Sex Worker Film + Video Festivals' (1998, 2000) created to provide exposure for sex-workers, support freedom of speech, and advocate female health and safety, and were the first of its kind.

Lucas exhibits in the U.S. and internationally, participated in a 2016 Kohler artist residency (foundry and ceramics), an invitational CentralTrak artist residency, Caldera artist residency; and has received RACC project grants in 2006, collaboratively 2008 and 2012. She made a public art commission for the PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, funded by a 'Public Art + Residency Projects' Oregon Arts Commission grant.

Marne Lucas at Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake
Marne Lucas at Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake
photo: Bruce Conkle

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