WHEN CONFRONTING REALITY—
Luba Lowry has painted several self-portraits. The most popular is her triple self-portrait Ode to Norman Rockwell (2014). Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait (1960) is self-effacing, part caricature, and drips with his usual hokey humor. Likewise, Luba’s triple self-portrait is only quasi-realistic, but adds the engaging feature of unveiling herself in the nude. It is fun, bigger than life, and uniquely gorgeous.
In her latest self-portrait, entitled Confronting Reality (2019), Luba has again taken her cue from an historic painting: Escaping Criticism, by Pere del Caso (1874). Like the del Caso work, this self-portrait is completed in true trompe-l’oeil fashion; meaning, its purpose is to deceive the eye and create an optical illusion. In this work, Luba is seen climbing out from her own painting, oil brushes in hand, with paint at the ready. She is focused straight ahead, ready to take on the art world with self-confidence and enthusiasm. Confronting Reality is Luba Lowry’s ‘coming into her own’ statement. As an emerging artist, she is no longer content to remain within the frame of her paintings—she is coming forth from her past, provoking the viewer to see her anew, breaking away from the norms of her profession and confronting reality as she sees it. Of course, the delicious irony of this wonderful work of art is that its painter is seen confronting reality in an obviously beguiling manner.