One of the new works of art by David “Lebo” Le Batard on display during Park West Gallery’s “The Art of Invention” exhibition is truly captivating, not only in technique and colors, but the meaning behind it.
This unique work is titled “Still Life with Flowers.” With a prominent minotaur in the foreground holding a dagger, one can’t help but wonder what narrative Lebo is exploring.
The truth is, however, that Lebo is only providing pieces of a puzzle that he wants the viewer to put together and form their own story.
“To me, part of the magic that comes with the art experience is the fact that it can be interpreted in different ways,” he says. “I think too often people take what the artist has to say about the truth, and that takes away some of the magic of it.”
The painting draws inspiration from the myth of the minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster of the labyrinth, found on the island of Crete. The island’s inhabitants were the Minoans who predated Greek culture.
Lebo says he was influenced by Pablo Picasso in this painting, most notably in how he depicts the minotaur.
“The minotaur crosses over into stuff that I’m learning about, and at the same time that is a representation that Picasso used a lot, so it gave me a chance to delve into both things,” he says.
In the minotaur’s hand is a dagger with the terms “id,” “ego” and “super ego” written next to it. These terms are how Sigmund Freud defined the human psyche, and what Lebo says is “an explanation for what makes us who we are.”
On the right side of the painting is what Lebo says can be interpreted as a universe, life forms under a microscope, or as the painting’s title suggests, a still life of flowers.
At the top of this is the letter “G” radiating light. This borrows from the masons, who Lebo says uses the symbol to represent God or geometry.
“I like both of those things a lot, and I investigate both of those things a lot,” he says.
While all of these components have their own meanings or interpretations, Lebo says they all combine into a narrative that is ultimately decided by the viewer.
“There is enough there that everyone…can tell their own story through that,” he says. “To me, that is the idea.”
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