Lou Beach (born Andrzej Lubicz-Ledóchowski) was born in 1947 and has worked during his lifetime as a clerk in a bookstore, a deliveryman, furniture mover, and punch press and forklift operator. But for most of his professional life—almost forty years to be more accurate—Beach was a very successful illustrator, working with Push Pin Studios, Seymour Chwast, and others. Today, his reputation as a fine artist seems to be growing in leaps and bounds. With sold-out gallery shows throughout the country, and New York representation by the prestigious Cavin-Morris Gallery, the artist is definitely on a roll. Last year, The Art Institute of Chicago acquired two of his works for its permanent collection.
In an interview with the self-taught Beach, it’s readily apparent that his work has taken a far more personal turn than ever before. No longer working under the auspices of art directors and the corporate dictates of “changes and revisions,” Beach now works free of those encumbrances and constraints, intuitively arranging and gluing paper from hundreds of printed vintage sources. Per Beach: “My studio table is piled high with cut paper, and I work with images as I find them. I am not one of those organized artists who can go to a file for this image or that. That’s not the way I work. There is an alchemy and mystery to the way each collage comes together.”
Most of his collages reveal a character or figure that takes center stage. According to the artist, each collage is like a story or play, one that the viewer must figure out himself. “All I give the viewer is a title. The collages I make are mysteries—even to me,” he says, which thankfully takes his work about as far as possible from his old career as an commercial illustrator.
Neighbors | mixed media on paper | 10.75 x 8"