One of the hardest working artists we know in New York City and beyond is the one and only Scooter LaForge! His art and artistic notoriety is gaining momentum lately in ways an artist only dreams of and in ways that he truly deserves. We’ve gotten to know Scooter better and better over the past few years and finally met at a Wolfpack Exhibition at Splatterpool in Williamsburg where his work was featured alongside photographer and artist Walt Cessna and Krys Fox. The reason we were there was because a photograph in which Chauncey appeared in by Krys Fox was on display, a supreme first for the daddy of The H.O.D. Scooter had just been a virtual personality and somewhat celebrity in our eyes as we had first connected with him on Twitter and then learned a little more about him, heard his name here and there and then finally would be involved in a function he was also connected with. Mr. Le Forge defied all expectations and revealed himself to be an extremely humble, gloriously quirky and wildly creative visionary who totally embodies and represents what New York City strives to be. His art is constantly being shown around NYC and his one of kind clothing pieces can be found in Patricia Field’s Boutique in Soho, adorned by heavy hitters like Nicki Minaj and a very special Madonna themed t-shirt by DJ Chauncey D himself!
He soaks in his surroundings and watches the world and it reflects in his work explosively. He is extremely generous to various charities and causes and has been a two year contributor to Housing Works Thrift Shop in Hell’s Kitchen’s Annual Queer Works Art Sale Benefit every June. On Friday, October 26th his newest solo exhibition “Super Powers and Special Abilities” opens with a reception from 7:00pm to 9:0opm at Munch Gallery featuring new works on canvas, drawing and sculpture.
“Super Powers and Special Abilities”
245 Broome Street
Opening Reception Friday, October 26th
Exhibition runs through December 2nd
Follow @ScooterLaForge on Twitter
Visit Scooter LaForge Main Site by clicking image below
Here is a wonderful essay about Scooter by art critic Carlo McCormick that will fill you in on the magic that bursts forth from The House of LaForge!
‘The Elusive Chimera of Happiness’ by Carlo McCormick
Among the various pejoratives by which high art casually dismisses what it deems inconsequential, like saying something is pretty, happy is just not one of those words that comes easily into the cultural discourse. In a way that makes the very notion of happiness somewhat subversive in contemporary art, and it is, far above the aspects of terror, loss and morbidity that haunt the paintings of Scooter LaForge, the happy-quotient that makes his work at once so compelling and challenging. Both his modus operandi and his social aesthetics, LaForge will tell you that he makes art to make himself happy and that if any painting can be said to have a function his would be to make others happy. Like any adjective, particularly when applied to fine art, happy is a most relative term. What brings joy to Scooter might just as easily invoke any level of discomfort to others. More to the point however, we must in turn take some measure of the inverse as the raison d’être for these pictures. Happiness, for all the ways it means different things to different people, is ultimately an idealized construct of personal desires and expectations set against the less pleasant realities of being. As a compulsive drive within his studio practice, we are particularly attracted to LaForge’s conception of joy and pleasure precisely because it speaks so profoundly to a greater, more profound sorrow within.
So what makes Scooter LaForge happy? Well, we can say with some degree of certainty it is not the aforementioned banality of a pretty picture. Seductive as his visual landscape may be, rendered in bold eye-candy colors, rife with sensuous forms of provocative allure, ecstatic in its celebration of life, and enliven by a delirious dose of mischievous whimsy, LaForge veers far too close to the grotesque to impersonate our normative notions of beauty, and indeed, for all the light and delight that dances before us in his oeuvre, the euphoria is inevitably articulated by the shadows. I can’t speak for all his fans across the world, but what makes me want to come back to his pictures, to listen over and over again to their riddled and ambiguous narratives, is not so much for what they show and tell us but for the impossible and impossible contradictions they contain. What appears dark – the Halloween ephemera, skeletons and other pictorial momento mori – is most often rather more naïve and innocent. Conversely however, it is the naiveté and innocence that runs rampant through this work that is the most emotionally fraught. Much like the elusive chimera of happiness, childhood along with all its attendant associations of purity, simplicity and the like, is a hypothetical fantasy of adult projections and perverse proportions that functions as collective myth far more than actual experience.
What makes Scooter LaForge’s art so psychologically penetrating and at times even disturbing is that his conjuring of childhood innocence is true only in so far as it is invested in a universe of his own recovered memories. The events he chronicles happened only in so far as they populated the illustrated books of his youth in ways he believed so dearly that he cannot to this day let them go. These paintings are less about what is than what is remembered. They are the mimetic devices that we recite to ourselves like bedtime stories to keep the demons of doubt and fear away. Nostalgias spun like legends, the gift he gives to us isn’t the unattainable past, it is the recollection; the memories we all make us to figure out who we are. As such all the gladness, glee, exhilaration and ebulliance he delivers come from the critical distance of loss. It is a great and precious gift at that.