by Vivianne Lapointe
Chilean-born, Paris-bred, Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Flavien Demarigny aka Mambo can now add curator to his list of skills. His collaborative exhibition titled "Mindset" at the newly opened Lacen Project in Hollywood this evening, 31 May, will unveil six new artworks by six artists and friends Demarigny has known and shared wall space with for years—from Paris to Los Angeles, New York to Houston.
The six—Dave Kinsey, 9th Concept, Mambo, Rahul Mitra, Xavier De Nauw and Mike Stilkey—come together because of "strong personalities, well-established styles and the ability to work together in mutual respect and humor with no fear or ego," Mambo explains.
Roughly two years ago, Mambo moved from Paris to the West Coast with an urge to branch out and start anew. Best known for his giant, colorful "cognitive paintings" on buildings all over the world, his tribute to Johnny Weissmuller at the Molitor Swimming Pool is one of our favorites. He describes his work as an illustrated brain, full of visions and emotions. The moving image is a huge part of his work and he consistently releases videos to allow people to get closer to his state of mind when sketching or creating ephemeral work. His fine art portfolio includes a variety of drawings and a large collection of celebrity portraits.
Mambo is notorious in Europe, however stateside very few know of his name—and that's what the exhibition name "Mindset" refers to: an attitude that's very young and fresh. "Because I'm not famous here and I'm bringing everything I learned in Europe, Brazil and Japan to build new projects here," Mambo explains. "I feel like I'm starting a new career!" he laughs.
Like Mambo, the Lacen Project is new in town from Paris. More project space than strictly a gallery, it allows for freedom; making it the obvious choice for this particular exhibition. "I like it because all I want here is to make another step to build a community around me before making bigger things in the next couple of years. I like to start small but beautiful, and grow up from there," Mambo says.
Tonight's 31 May opening party comes with a unique twist. Mambo and the other artists involved will—along with music professionals—be DJing with records from their personal collections between 7-10PM.
Images courtesy of the artists and Lacen Project