Dapper Bruce Lafitte: Kingpin of the Antpin on view at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

Image: Dapper Bruce Lafitte (American, b. 1971).  T.D.B.C. Presents Exodus , 2017. Archival ink on acid free paper, 18 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist and FIERMAN, NY

Image: Dapper Bruce Lafitte (American, b. 1971). T.D.B.C. Presents Exodus, 2017. Archival ink on acid free paper, 18 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist and FIERMAN, NY

CHICAGO, IL - Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art announces its upcoming exhibition, Dapper Bruce Lafitte: Kingpin of the Antpin, opening Thursday, October 12.

In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey recently ravaging the coasts of the United States and its territories, Intuit is exhibiting artist Dapper Bruce Lafitte's most recent body of work, which portrays the damage Hurricane Katrina inflicted on New Orleans overlaid with blunt political commentary.

From 2006-2015, Bruce Davenport, Jr., as he was formerly known, depicted "the culture" of New Orleans: the marching bands of public and parochial schools, Mardi Gras Indians, and street scenes. In the second decade of his career, Dapper Bruce Lafitte is now taking on "the history": Civil War battle scenes, the civil rights movement and Hurricane Katrina. The storm that wracked New Orleans and exposed the federal government's ineptitude inspired Dapper Bruce to become an artist, and he confronts the event in some of his most personal work to date.

The title of the exhibition comes from Lafitte's own terms: "Kingpin of the antpin means i run the art game im the ray charles of the art game i control what i show i control who i saw with im the boss of my mafia."

In drawings titled ExodusNo Love for the PoorMy First Time Seeing A M-16 and others, Dapper Bruce presents a visceral document of his experience in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Street scenes show floods of brown water, expressively drawn with marker; the Superdome is depicted as a yellow and gray monolith surrounded by stranded civilians. People are seen fleeing rather than celebrating, confronting armed guards, and walking along the highway away from the city. Dapper Bruce's drawings are laden with text: remembrances to his friends and relatives who died in the storm, shout outs to dead celebrities, commentary on his art career, and political criticism.

Dapper Bruce Lafitte was born and currently resides in New Orleans. A self-trained artist, he began making and showing work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to commemorate the then-decimated street culture of parades and marching bands of the city. He has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, notably in the Prospect Biennial, New Orleans, and in solo shows at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, Biloxi, Miss; Vacant Gallery, Tokyo; Louis B. James Gallery, New York; and Atlanta Contemporary, curated by Daniel Fuller. His work has appeared in The New York TimesHarper's Magazine and Victory Journal, among others. In 2009, he was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation artist award.

Dapper Bruce Lafitte: Kingpin of the Antpin opens Thursday, October 12, with a free opening reception event and talk with the artist himself both taking place the following evening, Friday, October 13, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on view until December 10, 2017.

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Established in 1991, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art is one of the premier museums of outsider and self-taught art in the world, offering exhibitions; resources for scholars and students; a permanent collection of more than 1,200 works of art; the Henry Darger Room Collection; the Robert A. Roth Study Center, a non-circulating collection with a primary focus in the fields of outsider and contemporary self-taught art; and educational programming for people of all interest levels and backgrounds.

Intuit is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; and Monday school holidays. More information at www.art.org.

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