ARTIST: BRIAN LATHAN

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ARTIST Brian Lathan
TITLE Untitled
LOCATION Coming Soon
WARD 7

ABOUT BRIAN LATHAN

Born and located in St. Louis, Mo., [the artist] is an artist and educator who explores printmaking and sculpture as his primary form of art creation. Though his specialization is printmaking, he examines the dynamics of print, digital illustration, and sculpture, persistently exploring these mediums as means to express personal and subjective commentary and narration. Currently, he’s an instructor of Printmaking at multiple universities around St. Louis including STLCC, SLU, Washu and Fontbonne (due to the recent Fontbonne closing) as well as Craft-Alliance. Alongside his personal practice, he simultaneously continues to build his collaborative printmaking practice (Free Press Project) where he works with other St. Louis artist to create prints and print ephemera. This project allows him to advocate for fellow artist in St. Louis while providing these artists print-made artworks that can travel easy, exhibit easier as well as offer audiences an economically affordable artwork.

The proceeds from this collaborative print practice are donated to mutual aid projects around St. Louis. He has exhibited widely since 2018 and has been awarded multiple RAC grants as well as multiple Futures Fund from Luminary to pursue long-term printmaking projects. He was recently featured in Riverfront Times “3 St. Louis Artists to Watch in 2024”. Powerful statements rendered in vibrant color; his prints grip the viewer in a way that challenges our perception of the world. Unafraid to tackle strong themes, he dives headlong into the relevant topics of the day such as oppression, imperialism, and environmental stress, as well as a universal themes of grief, loss, and the hope that follows. He achieves in depicting a world in which these things are punctuated by resilience and resistance, showing a spirit of overcoming. His work explores the human experience while simultaneously creating narratives that speak to the contentious reality of being an “Other” within America. Utilizing fantastical elements, he imbues observation-based narratives with magical realism, allowing him to display painful, contemporary realities under the guise of an alluring mythological tale.

His practice uses printmaking as its foundation and blends in sculpture, and installation. This familiarity with these practices allows him to have created large works in print and install them outdoors. His skills in printmaking has made him well versed in color separation skills need to paint murals. His blending of process allows his work to showcase variability and multiplicity which is symbolic to the variance experienced by individuals who differ from the “dominant” culture. Other print techniques such as layering, and transparency help to depict the malleable and tenuous nature of memory, observation, and records. Though his work embodies the grandiose, he is inspired by the mundane moments of existence, sometimes celebrating the everyday by making it monumental. His narratives act as transportation to a universe that blends emotional experiences, fantasy, and culture to create a mythos that is harrowing yet alluring. With each body of work, he builds a Pantheon of characters that question the
possibilities of transcendence from a legacy mired in pain and trauma.

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