Up for the Down Stroke
- 65GRAND is pleased to present David Leggett in his first solo exhibition with the gallery. His works on paper and canvas use fresh colors and enticing illustration to mine the multivalence of slick, manufactured popular culture.
- Leggett's heterogeneous text and imagery, at turns tragic and farcical, include phrases from rap songs and familiar cartoon characters, such as Frosty the Snowman and Snow White. Imbued with bathos, the text is often times obscured by his signature technique of severe cropping, or else veiled underneath layers of opaque, glittered glazes; the figures exploited for their racial or sexual ambiguities.
- The tension that arises from the deconstruction of these signs and symbols remains unresolved, but it functions as the foundation for a truly extraordinary element of Leggett's work - with all elements of his visual vocabulary emptied, they are rendered equals. It's in that moment, that room made by blasting away prejudices and disintegrating preconceived notions, where Leggett triumphs in normalizing deviant epithets and warping wholesome juvenilia.
- He begins the whole process by finding exception in the common place, at all levels of the personal and the public, the niche to the mainstream. His sensitive and complex observations take nothing for granted. Cuz when you're hot, you're hot. Look at what you got.
- David Leggett was born in Massachusetts and lives and works in Chicago. He received his BFA from Savannah College of Arts and Design and his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. His work was exhibited at the Hyde Park Center in Disinhibition: Black Art Blue Humor in 2008. He was on the shortlist for the Chicago Artadia Award in 2008, and a recipient of the 3Arts Visual Artist Award in 2009.