Since the war between “fine art” and “design” has been waged – a distinction increasingly diminishing in the advent of accessible technology – context has historically been the dividing faction between the two practices. Lester Monzon largely aims to debunk such superficial systems of value and distinction by fusing disparate aesthetics, an engagement that tests the suppositions of the viewer. Colorful gesticulations conceal sections of rigid patterning, a tete-a-tete between abstract expressionism and hard-edge abstraction that implies a gentle lampooning of the taxonomic tradition. Monzon upends the formalism and segregation innate to the fine art world, and fabricates a composite genealogy of painting – a pithy resolution to an otherwise vapid debate. Monzon’s luscious brushstrokes slyly creep into a Hirst-esque field of dots or Noland-like plane of stripes, like the resurrection of a once-declared dead practice through a satirical hand. In his recent work, Monzon applies this critique of contextual art to mark-making in public spaces; be it graffiti on tiles in a public bathroom, stains on the sidewalk, or the popularized notion of “street art.”
Monzon (b. 1973, Brooklyn) received his M.F.A. from Art Center College of Design (CA). His work has been exhibited at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (CA), in addition to shows in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles (CA).
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