Montreal artist Jean-François Leboeuf was first introduced to Omaha audiences in 2016, when he was paired with Kim Darling in a duo show at Darger HQ. There, he exhibited his impressive large-scale graphite drawings. They were meticulously rendered standing portraits of ordinary individuals elevated to the realm of heroically eccentric.
Leboeuf brings back his “punk and junk” aesthetic to the Elkhorn Campus of Metro Community College with an exhibition of large and small drawings from his continuing Bâtardseries and an installation in Wild/Cat/Walk, opening on Wednesday, March 13 with a public reception from 5:30-7:00 pm.
Confounding conventional readings, Leboeuf’s work is deft visual mischief. Or, as he puts it: “With remains of junk culture and relics of daily trivial, my work probes the strange and grotesque by amalgam and recontextualization.”
Typically, Leboeuf’s standing figures are decked out in some form of distracting cosplay, whether Lucha Libre masks or Grim Reaper gowns, and hold various items, often booze and junk food, that stand in as their individual “attributes”—those signs and symbols which in formal portraiture indicate specific associations with the person depicted. His people are fictions, yet because of his preference for the excessively, tritely ordinary, seem all so familiar.
Jean-François Leboeuf: Wild/Cat/Walkruns from March 13-April 2, 2019, at the Gallery of Art and Design, Elkhorn Valley Campus of Metropolitan Community College, 829 N. 204th St. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9am to 8pm and Friday, 9am to 5pm.