Venice Art Walk artist wants to shake it up

May 20, 2021

[Photo provenance: Jens Lucking, Indecent Exposure – Catarina, 2021]

Photographer Jens Lucking knew he would be creating a stir when he asked his model to expose herself to pedestrians on Blackfriars Bridge in London. 

“I like people to look at my pictures and stop in their tracks,” he said.

He definitely turned heads that day, which he captured in Indecent Exposure – Catarina, 2021, the photograph he donated to this year’s Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction.

“This particular image is about empowerment and self-confidence, much like the multiaward-winning first picture in my Indecent Exposure series, which sold during last year’s Venice Art Walk,” Lucking said. “While my models in this project get to push their boundaries, escape their daily routines and get a substantial adrenaline rush during the shoot, I enjoy taking the onlookers in my pictures out of their comfort zones. I also like to show something that has a little bit of humor – that’s fun yet beautiful at the same time so you want to put it on your wall. If my clients say, ‘Every time I walk past that picture, I get a smile on my face,’ that’s the greatest compliment I can hope for.”

Lucking’s images have been putting smiles on faces for decades, ever since he started taking photos as a child. He turned his passion into a career, first making a name for himself shooting cars on his home continent of Europe before moving to the United States. Lucking’s passion for the unexpected has led him to play with dimension and space to create whimsical photographs of people (and sometimes their pets).

Now he lives in Venice with his family, not far from Venice Family Clinic’s flagship Rose Avenue location. 

“I feel comfortable here because of the artists. I feel like I can be myself in Venice more so than in other parts of L.A. and especially other parts of the country,” he said. “Venice is special, and that includes Venice Family Clinic. It’s one of the most important places we have in this pocket of L.A.”

Walking the walk

About eight years ago, Lucking began donating photographs to Venice Art Walk. He had been volunteering at Venice Arts, teaching photography and mentoring kids from low-income families, so using his art as a way to give back made sense to him. 

“I want to do my part to make change,” he said. “I feel better when everybody gets a piece of the pie. I’m from Europe, so I’m used to having health care available when I need it. In this country, there are many ways to get health care – if you have money. If you don’t, you’re in trouble. That’s why we need places like Venice Family Clinic. I’m really grateful the Clinic is here.”

Not only does Lucking see the need for quality health care in his neighborhood, he also understands the need for Venice Family Clinic for any and all people who may need help. In fact, Lucking was once a patient himself.

“At one time, I had health insurance that offered Venice Family Clinic as a place where I could get health care, so I chose the Clinic. I believed in the Clinic enough to support it with my art, so I thought I should trust the Clinic with my medical care, too,” he said. “I know so many artists who find it difficult to make ends meet. Having a place to rely on like Venice Family Clinic, where you can get help even if you don’t have insurance, is invaluable to this community.”