Blair LeBlanc (b. Atlanta, GA 1994) is an American artist living between New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. Her first solo painting exhibition (September – October 2020. Athens, GA) marked both her transition from photography and her homecoming from a year living in New York City. Recently, her work landed in international press including Artforum and ARTnews in January 2020.
Her newest body of work, Dream, is about the rise from obscurity to prestige. Totally derailed by the pandemic, LeBlanc started asking questions surrounding how to make a better living for herself, how to build and support a family, and how to do so in a way that lines up with her beliefs.
Dream is about the rise from obscurity to prestige. Created in Atlanta this Summer 2020, these paintings mark my homecoming from a year living in New York City and my transition from working in photography. Totally derailed by the pandemic, I started asking questions surrounding how to make a better living for myself, how to build and support a family, and how to do it in a way that lines up with my beliefs.
I thought, what would make me wealthy and give me everlasting art world reputability? A painting for Larry Gagosian. The problem is, I’m a photographer, and a lesbian and female. Even worse, I’m also young and healthy and alive. The world’s most impactful art dealer would never buy my portfolio of idyllic, party photographs of my close friends.
So, I spent my summer studying the characteristics of what makes a painting that draws record-breaking sales. Surprisingly, the research brought me back to the things that inspired me to be an artist in the first place. Warhol’s red soup cans. Referencing my kindergarten teacher’s family business. When I was six, she first encouraged me to pursue art, Ms. Campbell.
And when I was sixteen, I read a book about Pablo Picasso’s aristocratic life. Strolling over to his collector’s apartment in Paris and eating wonderful dinners with other artists. I taped a poster of his Blue Nude to my bedroom wall.
Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that artists must make blockbuster work. Art of the early 21st century has taken on a harsh conceptual edge that alienates new museum patrons. Some freaks (people like you and me) are energized by this new emo iteration of the avant-garde. Unfortunately, most people (normal people) are locked out and can’t find a way into the party. Art is the one place in the world where you can adopt any position you want and create a new universe from there. Why not invite everybody?
To view more of Blair LeBlanc’s work please visit their website.