Invitation to Nothingness | Scooter Laforge Solo Show
Lacrimosa | Dariusz Labuzek Solo Show
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3rd 2016 | 5pm-Late (through July 30th)
On June 3rd 2016, 111 Minna Gallery is pleased to present two unique solo exhibitions by vibrantly impressive painters, Scooter LaForge and Dariusz Labuzek.
Scooter LaForge is a full-time artist living in New York City. Last year, he was featured in shows at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York, the Friedrichshof Museum in Vienna, and the Spiritmuseum/Absolut Art Collection in Sweden.
He also presented a solo show at the Howl! Happening Gallery in New York, which Autre ranked as one of the top ten exhibits of 2015.
The artist has recently collaborated with Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Bierendonck, supplying 20 paintings as images to be incorporated into the fabric of his men’s wear line. He worked in conjunction with Norwegian painter Bjarne Melgaard in the creation of sculptures for an exhibit. LaForge was chosen to be a keynote speaker at the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival, and presented a solo show at the Galerie MX in the same city.
Last fall, LaForge was commissioned to create garments for Madonna’s performance of her single “Bitch I’m Madonna” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Debbie Harry have all worn items from his clothing line.
In 2015, he was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award. Commenting on his exploration of context, Forbes magazine wrote he has found “a new art medium in clothing.”
To that effect, LaForge was commissioned to contribute to a Patricia Field art/fashion retail installation within Commes des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market concept store. The space housed his sculptures as well as garments incorporating painting . LaForge has worked closely with Field since her brick and mortar days and was recently featured in her Art/Fashion exhibit at Howl! Happening Gallery in New York’s East Village. He remains a fixture of her current venture, an online clothing art gallery.
Artforum, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Ukraine, V Magazine, T Magazine, W Magazine, Billboard and Spirit & Flesh all featured LaForge’s art during 2015.
Scooter LaForge | Press
Dariusz Labuzek’s primitive style paintings are inherently figurative, yet their naive imagery is predominantly design orientated, has an illustrative quality that is founded on an abstract painterly aesthetic. This juxtaposition of abstraction and design is what makes his pictures so compelling, his figures created as vessels to be filled by textures, colors, and ideas, beautiful compositions that conspire to feed our desire for aesthetically beautiful objects.
Feeding off a very sculptural sensibility – possibly informed by his training as an architect and film maker – Labuzek repeats the same motifs in his paintings, yet each picture is utterly different, his starting point the relationship between painterly concepts such as texture, color, line, and form; This play on ideas gives him space to explore how we see a painting, the depth and nuance of material as well as the potential it has to manipulate how we view the picture plane. Some of his figures look like copper or collage-like cut outs, the rest more illustrative in nature.
This freedom of expression, of looking to articulate the emotional and poetic quality of an image through painterly concepts, is a subject that has preoccupied many artists throughout the 20th century, some of whom have laid the foundation for Labuzek’s own creative journey, such as Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Franz Jozef Kline, Jacek Göttel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Antoni Tapies, Roger Ballen and Agusti Puig. Labuzek continues in the tradition of these great artists, as a painter who is in love with his medium, in the possibilities that lie in brush and paint, in the potential that an abstract world of strange humanoid figures can lead us into a world that lightens up our own imagination. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
He lets himself be carried away without resistance in the direction indicated by the hand of an intuitive lines, color, and form. His stimulating expression of the environment brings each viewer into effervescent, playful, and exciting world full of organic forms and shapes. Each piece might be a peculiar exploration of botanical, animal, and human shapes.
Somewhat the combination of illustrative and abstract styles gives his work a dreamy quality that transports the imagination into a whole other world that is waiting to be discovered. Working primarily with acrylic, Dariusz emphasizes imaginative organic shapes composed with unique dexterity. These qualities, along with a creative contrast of muted and vibrant colors, make his work resonate emotionally.
Dariusz was born in Poland and studied architecture at Cracow’s Institute of Technology and film and theater at Humboldt State University in California. In 2015, he was honored to be featured by Saatchi Art in their “Invest in Art” series, which introduces the public to exceptional emerging artists from around the world.
Dariusz Labuzek | News