Lu Cong was born in Shanghai in 1978 and immigrated to the United States at the age of 11. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 2000 with degrees in biology and art, he moved to Denver, CO after deciding to pursue portrait art rather than medicine. Since 2002, Lu has been studying at the Denver Art Students League, focusing his studies on life drawing, and has exhibited his work at that arts venue for the past decade.
Lu’s early works were large and sensational; though they were painted with exaggerated melodrama and pathos, the artist’s keen insight and sensitivity towards his subjects were nonetheless evident. Between 2003 and 2007, Lu was recognized by a number of art publications as a notable emerging artist. Since then, the artist has developed a distinctive look that many have described as an original approach to figurative realism. Lu’s style pays homage to 18th century Romantics, yet is unmistakably conceived in and relevant to the contemporary era. His portraits do more than simply capture the physical and emotional state of the subject; they establish the complicated psychological interactions that ensue when one comes face to face with the sensual, inexplicable, and unsettling. Today Lu is considered one of the distinctive young artists working in the American West.
“As my life and my art progress, I have come to cherish and kindle that familiar sentiment I have always felt since I was a boy; it is the longing for something that can never be fully obtained, but only vaguely hinted in the portraits that I try to make.” - Lu Cong