Prawat Laucharoen

     

LA Artcore was pleased to present a one-man show from innovative, international artist Prawat Laucheroen.  His work represents more than 40 years of painting, printmaking, sculpture and service as an educator in New York City, along with a strong, positive identification with his Thai heritage.

Laucharoen’s story is that of an adventurer, and his pursuit of creating a life position that allowed for his artistic vision led him far afield of the paradisaical gardens of Ratchaburi in central Thailand.  His education at Silpakorn University in painting was a starting point, where he formulated a vision of himself as a master of printmaking, and set his dreams for other horizons where he could fulfill the goals his immediate environment could not deliver.  At the time, he explains, the climate afforded a greater priority to painters with printmaking as an art-form not fully recognized, and this may have served to intensify the exotic quality of the journey necessary to accomplish his vision.

 

 
Incredibly, the young artist found employment during the Vietnam War in cartography, and earned enough to buy a ticket to New York, landing in the Lower East Side at the height of its bohemian character.  The fearless move towards opportunity was rewarded with a grant for the Pratt Institute and all the printmaking he could study.  The adventure bore fruit in every respect, moving from work as a lithographer for the Hollander workshop and Chiron Press to the four-year process of repurposing an industrial space into a liveable loft and a serviceable location for his own printmaking shop.  He worked on etching projects with a number of famous artists, reaching the point where he realized his dream and had a master’s comprehension of printmaking techniques.  This led to the next phase in his existence, teaching, a motion of return that enriches the lives of his students with his Thai character, his international bravado, and his New York legacy.  He taught at Columbia University, Hunter College and ultimately his current location, Horace Mann in the Bronx.
   
Laucharoen is more than a printmaker, his work speaks of adventure and innovation that moves beyond the discourse of technique.  Beyond his mastery of etching and intaglio techniques, he expands in every direction the conventional methods, having used massive roulettes, wall-covering dimensions of paper, fire and branding irons, and expressionistic delivery to splash acid against plates.  His innovation matches his own life story, rising to circumstance, and his installations speak of addressing his subjects directly.In a famous massive exhibit at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, he revealed the steady thread of his native home and the independence of his artistic pursuit by illustrating five proverbs he recalled from his boyhood.  The work was a marvelous combination of complicated printing process and direct, solid sculptural display.   The work that the artist will present us is sure to be fearless and direct in addition to possessing the effortless quality that only a master of methods can deliver.

Robert Seitz

 

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