Luca Serra was born in Bologna in 1962.
After graduating from art school in 1984 he traveled to southern Spain, experience that will result in a strong suggestion. Encouraged by Giovanni d'Agostino he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti.
Simultaneously working in the advertising industry and publishing and in 1986 was a founding member of graphics agency. He works occasionally for several years as a computer consultant, publishing and advertising. In 1988 he graduated from the Academy and travels between Rome and Madrid. He begins to think about the painting and to paint.
During the realization of a series of small lead sculptures, his attention moves from the original work to the plaster casts used for melting, and in particular to the relationship between the materials used to execute and detach them, chalk and graphite, and especially to their mutual modification.
From this analysis comes a series of plaster and graphite works, exhibited in 1991 in the exhibition "Abîme", Galleria Aperta, Modena.
The painting here subjected to a sculptural technique, the mold process, is intended as a relationship between the idea and its final result, the intention of doing and what actually gets produced, the process that engages between the idea and its realized form, concepts obliged to contradiction.
" ... To make that an image - the painting - were not just a esthetic composition but be converted into history, into time, occurrence, to transform the abstraction of a image and submit it to a real, concrete experience, I finally adopted a procedure, a summary of various reactions that had caught my attention .... "
This interest in painting as the ratio between the idea and its final result, as a alchemic relationship between elements and the inability to completely control them, will remain a constant of his work in subsequent years.
In the first cycle of works on canvas “Pittura Senza Qualità Proprie” (Painting Without Own Qualities), the artist experiments with new materials and the title sums up the objectifying process of the mold and the initiatory meaning of his art making. He was invited to some events: the Biennale dei Giovani Artisti dell’Europa Mediterranea, 1992, Valencia, Iceberg ‘92, Galleria Neon, Bologna, Biennale Giovani, Rijeka, 1993.
Meanwhile, continues to work in applied graphic and in the visual aspect of television broadcasts. Is co-author of video animation, animated theme songs and video clips. But his major interest is painting.
In 1995 he opened a personal exhibition at the Kunstverein North - Galerie Z&M, Bremen, and participated in the group exhibition ”Non Plus Ultra" at Lorenzelli Arte, Milan with which begins a partnership. Is invited in 1996 to the 48th Edition Michetti Prize, also participates in the group exhibition “Consistenza della Pittura” at the Palazzo dei Diamanti of Rovereto and “Superfici e attrazioni” at the Civica Raccolta Del Disegno di Salò (1996 acquisitions).
The continuous pictorial research, "about image designed a priori as an act and not as a result", leads him to the "Conversazioni” cycle that exposes the Otto Gallery in Bologna and later to the exhibition: "Corrispondenze" held at Lorenzelli Art in Milan in 1998 .
Back in 1999 in southern Spain, he settled near Almeria and began working with the Galerie Carzaniga + Ueker, Basel with the cycle "Morado" inspired by a series of landscapes and exposed in the group exhibition: "6 Junge Kunstler aus Deutschland, Italien und der Schweiz “.
In 2000-2001 travelled between Spain and Italy and participates in exhibitions in public institutional spaces and private galleries: “Sulla Pittura - Artisti Italiani sotto i quarant’anni” Palazzo Sarcinelli, (TV), “Materiale Immateriale” Galleria Civica D’Arte Contemporanea, S. Martino Valle Caudina (AV), “Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Italien”, Galerie Carzaniga + Ueker, Basel, “Malerei: 8 Positionen”, Galerie Werner Bommer, Zürich.
In 2001 carries out the series of "Caucho" (rubber) works, produced with a singular oxide red color acrylic rubber, cycle later exhibited in the Galerie Carzaniga + Ueker, Basel.
The material used here, this oxide red color rubber, recurs later after the gray rubber series of "Pestabile" and "Choupolvosis", researches shown at the Galerie Doris Wullkopf, Lindau, 2002, and "Cuentos de la Respiración", Galerie Carzaniga + Ueker, Basel, 2003.
He participated in numerous group shows such as “VULGARis”, S. Michele Arcangelo, Pieve di Gombola (Polignago) , “Anni '70 '80 '90”, Lorenzelli Arte, Milan, “Generazione astratta III”, Pontedera (Pi), “Senza titolo/ Untitled”, Mar & Partners, Turin.
In the atelier in Andalucia develops a new series of works, where the attempt to consider the image not as an invention but as an objective exposition of the relationship occurred among the causes that produced it, is also the awareness of the consequences that occur every aesthetic and procedure choices.
So how in the "Irreversible" cycle, the shades of the work will be extreme in two "timbres" opposed, white and black, or rather light and dark, alternated poles which develop and complete in the cycles “El embrujo del hombre del saco”, shown at VV8 Arte Contemporanea, Reggio Emilia 2009, and “Dilema, el Hombre del Saco y Otros Accidentes” at the Galerie Carzaniga, Basel 2010.
The same method of the mould, combined with the continuous search of pictorial possibilities, and then the testing of different materials, flows into the gray concrete of "Gris y Grandes Dibujos”, Lorenzelli Arte, Milan, 2012. The artist combines earth tones and gray backgrounds, black or red forms: "Imprints produced by accident", to emphasize that the automatic gesture of "deleting" drops of paint rubbing to clear them, instead produces a wider and personal trace, "Imprints", different from and opposed to intentions that caused it.
He continues its work on this idea of "Unintentional Imprint” with "Huella y Dibujos", exhibition organized in collaboration between Spazia Galleria d’Arte, Bologna, October 2012 and Galerie Carzaniga, Basel in December-January, 2013.
In the belief that to be credible the work must be subjected to the same laws of fortune and randomness that govern reality itself, the process of the mold remains a constant of the artist's work, continuing the attempt to transcend "the artifice" in favor of a "reality", appropriating the limitations imposed by the same technique adopted, and using as aesthetic element the technical and physical needs necessary for the realization, such as structures - architectures (the support) that become composition, or where the color (basically chalks and types of cement) is necessary, before an aesthetic element, as a material detaching the mold (the canvas) from the support.
Always taking an interest in the reason why things have one aspect and not another, and the chain of decisions and coincidences that shaped it - then the "history" of making the work, or rather the "story" ("Cuento "In Spanish, a recurring title in the artist's cycles) - the previous research joins a reflection on the need for illusion, having to "design" each work with the idea of completing what - a priori - can not be what has been designed, perhaps aware of having more need of research than of results.
A kind of "statement of surrender" with respect to the real world, which will give rise to "Cuento Chino" (literally "Chinese fairy tale", actually a little story, frottola), exhibition at the VV8 Artecontemporanea Gallery in April 2015 and with the same title in October always 2015 at the Galerie Carzaniga, Basel.
A selection of the two exhibitions will then be exhibited at the Galerie Werner Bommer, Zurich, in June 2016.
The fascination with other materials (as previously the red of the rubber, or the white of "Piár" ["Limpiar", to clean]) flows after several attempts in the blue "Añil", (Indigo, the pigment used in the Mediterranean to whitewash lime).
If before the "technical necessity" of monochrome and tonal backgrounds (having to respect the tar tincture), obliged the gesture to be "filled" and in some way zeroed, brought to a homogeneous surface to be functional, the acquired technical ability and colour, transformed from tone to timbre, thus reverses the needs, at least chromatic; and if the gesture had to become a pattern, here the colour finally obliges the surface to return gesture, as in the cycle exhibited in "Luca Serra – Añil", ABC-Arte Gallery, Genoa, January 2018.
His work is shown regularly to the national and international fairs such as Art Basel, Artefiera Bologna, Mart Milan, Kunst Zurich.