Sometimes its easy to stay in a particular role or station in life. To merely settle and be what is expected of you. It takes courage and passion to step out of the shadows and be more than what people expect you to be. Lamonte French is nothing short of passionate and courageous in his pursuits. Making his mark with unique art full of poignant themes. Everyone reacts differently, but the way he touches on history and social issues is undeniable. We live in a volatile time and Lamonte French’s work speaks eloquently to it.
We had a great conversation that touched on various subjects. From how he intentionally uses a flag theme in some of his pieces. To briefly touching on his fathers football achievements. I never took the time to inquire as to his name. Though he is a well respected athlete. It seemed inappropriate. The man I spoke with was his own man. Passionate and driven. Focused on progressing as well as creating. Its not always easy making your own way, but the journey is worth it. The achievements of our family sometimes leave a legacy to live up to. Sometimes those achievements are reminders that you are destined for greatness. Not leaving us burdened with expectation, instead motivation. And I saw motivation.
We like to think that the goal of most if not all artists is to try to make a poignant statement with their work. I mean as it should be when so much effort and time is put into this labor of love. Often times the love is (for lack of a better term) lost in translation. Lamonte French is different in the sense that the love to me was apparent when I saw his work. When we spoke with him about his work the love and passion for creating was apparent. The symbolism hidden in plain sight show an intent to inform as well as express. From influences like Basquiat, to piers like Robert Hodge, Lamonte’s got plenty of inspiration to match his tenacity in art.
They sometimes say the best way to get away with something is to do it in plain sight. So obvious that no one would watch, because I mean who would do something so brazen in front of everybody. I think in a way Lamont French is doing just that.
The message is there if you’re looking. Who would say that now, or in that context? Who would navigate and succeed that way? Look close. He’s out there maneuvering right in front of you.