M+B is pleased to present Artwork By Dapper Bruce Lafitte, A NOLA Icon, an exhibition of new large-scale works on paper by self-taught artist Dapper Bruce Lafitte, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition runs from May 18 through June 15, 2019, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 18 from 6 to 8 pm.
In Artwork By Dapper Bruce Lafitte, A NOLA Icon, each vivid color marker drawing is rendered in the artist’s celebrated playful style and is a variation of a favored motif for Lafitte: boxing. Featured in the ring are generations of champions, connecting a multi-generational love for boxing. From the artist’s grandfather’s affection for Joe Louis, to his uncle’s admiration of Muhammad Ali, to Lafitte’s own love for Mike Tyson. Also present are Lafitte’s animated scrawlings of his personal thoughts and observations, scattered throughout in pockets of quiet spaces. Common themes include Ali’s influence on the artist as a child who Lafitte describes as “a hero to the black kids in the Lafitte Projects.”
Lafitte grew up in the Lafitte Housing Projects in the 6th Ward in New Orleans. A self-trained artist, he was inspired to make work again in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a way to celebrate and commemorate his beloved city. His works often depicts the parades, sporting events and the processionals that are so much a part of the fabric of New Orleans. In recent years, Lafitte has also taken as his subject matter the history of the South, in particular the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Lafitte’s intricate and vivid color marker drawings provide detailed reenactments of the vibrant pageantry of the city’s culture, the artist’s community and his personal heroes.
Dapper Bruce Lafitte (formerly Bruce Davenport, Jr.) was born in 1972 in New Orleans. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, notably in the Prospect Biennial, New Orleans and in solo shows at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, Biloxi, MS; Atlanta Contemporary (curated by Daniel Fuller); Vacant Gallery, Tokyo; Fierman, New York, NY; and Louis B. James Gallery, New York, NY. Group exhibitions include those at the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX (curated by Dan Cameron); Lambent Foundation, New York, NY; the Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC; among others. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Hyperallergic and Victory Journal, among others. In 2009, he was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation artist award. Lafitte currently lives and works in New Orleans.