Abstract Artist: David J. Leblanc
Medium: Acrylic, Enamel, Collage
SLAM! BAM! BOOM! The explosion of primary colors throughout my Action Abstraction paintings echoes the effects of the old 1930’s and 1940’s three-color press. My approach to the primed canvas begins by masking the entire surface with a collage of comic book covers that automatically active the picture plane. Then, bold, robust brushstrokes and gentle criss-crossing painterly drips delve into the essential questions of the use of color, composition, and balance of Abstract Expressionism while deconstructing iconic images of classic comic book characters including DC Comics’s Superman. Simultaneously, I integrate tangible elements of pop art from Action Comics covers from the 1930’s-1950’s (including titles, numbers, prices, copyright symbols, etc.). The layering of elements subsequently gives rise to a sense of mystery as the viewer sees only hints, partial views, fragments, and excerpts of the underlying layers. The combination gives my canvases depth and pop.
A wide-eyed fascination with comic books since he was a boy generated a passion for the genre that drives David J. Leblanc considerable expressionistic paintings today. Comic books have fueled his love for art and reading since he was five years old. Leblanc’s mother was a nurse when he was young, and his father would often go to 7-11, and buy comic books to pass the time as they often waited to well after dark in the car. In adulthood, Leblanc struggled with how to integrate this boyhood passion into his paintings. After shifting from illustration to painting in college, he found his passion, which is now reflected in the large canvases that are influenced by Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean-Michel Basquait, Larry Rivers, and a pantheon of comic book artists. Finally in 2005, he stumbled upon a book comprised of Action Comics covers featuring Superman from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The book became the inspiration for Leblanc’s signature Action Abstraction series combining the elements of Abstract Expressionism and the Pop Art elements of comic books. The outcome is a unique contemporary vision bridging past to present.