“He meticulously organizes and stores these weathered materials, which he later surgically deconstructs and deploys, creating new narratives from shards of past memory.” Excerpt from Lance Letscher’s Bio.
Broke a promise. Said I’d comment on the Tayloe Piggott Gallery Lance Letscher event, and now that the show has only another week on exhibit, I recommend, if you haven’t already, go and see this collection.
Letscher’s show, “Untroubled Mind,” appears to reflect a very troubled mind. A mind sliced, diced, hard-stapled together as to not fall apart, an infinity of dreams and visions swept together in concise, pointy, intricate patterns. Letscher’s collages are reminiscent in style of Hieronymus Bosch’s tumultuous and foreboding paintings, but Letscher’s works don’t convey what Bosch did: Letscher’s works are puzzles, visual crosswords and brilliant colors make them a joy to study. Men’s and women’s shoes, watches, film canisters, a myriad of containers, baby items, body parts, silverware; these are just a few images repeatedly appearing in Letscher’s art. Often he arranges his printed and cut slivers like Japanese paper umbrellas or fans.
Opening night, attendees took in an edited version of The Secret Life of Lance Letscher, a documentary about the artist. Letscher is shy, but his art speaks volumes.
Tears welled up. Creativity so often springs from grief, memories, the confusions and heartbreak of childhood, loss. Emotional attachments, questions unanswered. Tangled up in our brains, we think of them….but they roll away, hidden under a rug, floating into the air. An artist practicing any form may swear to recall those phantom feelings and use them….but they’re gone. We can’t present them. We can’t organize them and put them out in the open in any sort of orderly way; it’s almost impossible to hang on to life’s minutia.
But Letscher can, and does.
That’s his brilliance and his bravery. He did not cotton to that stage, and I think he knew that after seeing the film, questions from the audience would be hard to elicit. What could we say? It was a huge gift. Letscher has catalogued and dealt with life through his extraordinary art. He’s found a way to create art deeply personal, evocative and startling. And he’s able to EXPLAIN it to us. He’s held on, cut out every sliver of metal and paper, used industrial staples and turned tumult into peace.
And when you have peace, you are untroubled.