contemporary art

Lucien Shapiro

United States


Lucien Shapiro
Lucien Shapiro
United States
February 20, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Born in Santa Rosa, Lucien Shapiro is an American sculptor who intricately transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically beautiful relics, compelling viewers to re-evaluate the purpose and value of everyday possessions. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture from AAU in 2003.

Dancing between life and death, Lucien Shapiro’s art is rife with found objects, textures, cast forms, manipulations, raw substances, oddities and multiple personalities. Treating forgotten objects and memories as treasure, he creates a kingdom under which new life is born through sculpture. Urban Obsessions explores both artist’s and viewer’s perception of identity, addiction, and time.

Composed of elaborately constructed masks and ornately armored weaponry, this collection of works examines a relationship between modern waste and memories of ancient cultural artifacts. Practices and customs from the past are brought back to light through Shapiro’s revival of discarded materials, transformed into objects analogous with self-protection. Behind masks and armor, we’re enabled with the power to separate and shield ourselves from reality, creating new identities through a deliberate opposition of our true selves. Urban Obsessions tangibly relates the past’s and present’s ritualistic escape from stress, pain and even love.

Utilizing raw materials correlated to various forms of addiction such as drugs, violence, and collections, Shapiro’s sculptures embody the act of compulsive preoccupation. Through his own addiction to the process of painstaking repetition and meticulousness of his craft, we are presented with works that challenge preconceived notions of habits, impulses, and dependencies. Evident in his art is an acceptance of whatever result would come from the consolidation and manipulation of numerous imperfections.

In today’s day and age, the ease at which information and products are made available has led to a continual state of over-consumption. Everyday items have become neglectfully disposable, and there is an immediate desire for what’s new and what’s next. Shapiro’s work, a laborious craft and meditative consumption of time, transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically interesting and beautiful relics that compel viewers to re-evaluate what our everyday possessions represent and mean to us. Shapiro invites us to slow down, to not only gain appreciation for the artifacts that tell a story about who we are in this day and age, but to find inspiration in the value of time and craft.

Some notable previous exhibitions of Lucien Shapiro’s work include: Vessel at Guerrero Gallery, Natural Balance at New Image Art, Skull Show at Bedford Gallery, Two at Compound Project and These Friends at THIS Los Angeles.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Fear Collecting RitualThe Merrick Building, Los Angeles (traveling exhibition)Solo
2016Anew, with Erin M. RileyHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CA Duo
2015Summer Group ShowHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2015The Lost Mitten Society Annual Winter Salon ShowJonathan LeVine Gallery, NYGroup
2014The WoreFocus Space, LASolo
2014Home At LastGuerrero Gallery, SFSolo
2014Natural BalanceNew Image Gallery, LASolo
2014Skull ShowBedford Gallery, WCSolo
2014EK Summer111 Minna Gallery, SFSolo
2014Decked OutOlive Hyde Gallery, FremontSolo
2014TwoCompound Project, MalibuSolo
20145 year AnniversaryEver Gold, SFSolo
2014LA Art Show FairVarnish, LASolo
2013Fabulous 50111 Minna Gallery, SFSolo
201310 Year AnniversaryVarnish Fine Art, Solo
2013These FriendsThis Los Angeles, LA Solo
2013Bold HypeSpoke pop up, NYSolo
2013Lucien ShapiroKnown Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2013Group Show Vol. 3Gildar Gallery, DenverGroup
2012Winter Group ShowGuerrero Gallery, SFGroup
2012SupernaturalWonderland SF, SFSolo
2012As show of HeadsLequivive, OaklandSolo
2012Relics of the New WorldCasselGallery, Solo
2012Group ShowZero Friends, OaklandGroup
2012The Have and Have NotVarnish Fine Art, SFSolo
2012Days To Come5 Claude Ln, SFSolo
2011American MadeCassel, SFSolo
2011SwampyMillion Fishes, SFSolo
2011MonstersCollaborate, OakSolo
2011MajestyWonderland, SFSolo
2011One Hour now GoFlag Stop, LASolo
2011Postive NegativeCassel Gallery, SFSolo
2011Big Trouble in Little ChinaDragatomi, SacSolo
2010VirtuosoLukas Studio, SFSolo
2010Fresh ProduceAnno Domini, SJSolo
2010Little MonstersMillion Fishes, SFSolo
2010BeastMillion Fishes, SFSolo
2010Dance magic DanceR & R Gallery, LASolo
2010ProtoformSwee(t)art Gallery, OaklandSolo
2010Turkana WindowWes Smoot Annex, OaklandSolo
2010Alice in WonderlandThe Hive, LASolo
2009GuardianLukas Studio, SFSolo
2009RollAll the Right Gallery, NYSolo
2009BlamoMillion Fishes Gallery, SFSolo
2009Bazookos CircusSpace Gallery, SFSolo
2009Iconic InterpretationsLukas Studio, SFSolo
2008CromVarnish Gallery, SFSolo
2008Night of the TreepleOn Six Gallery, SFSolo
2008Bang Fully LoadedRemy’s on Temple, LASolo
2008WickedAmuse Gallery, SFSolo
2008Fresh ProduceGallery AD, San JoseSolo
200712xmasStrychnin, LondonSolo
200712xmasStrychnin, BerlinSolo
2007In the MixGhetto Gloss, LASolo
2007Torn PiecesThe Hive, LASolo
2007Mixed proportionsDash Gallery, NJSolo
2007Group ShowGolen Gallery, MiamiGroup
2007Inner WorkingsMelting Point, SFSolo
2007Sometimes UndergroundMusee 16, PortlandSolo
2007Best of the BaySFSolo
2007Dream GirlsMina Dresden, SFSolo
2007Monkey Killing MonkeyCachi Gallery, SFSolo
2006Fresh ProduceGallery AD, San JoseSolo
2006CollabroGallery AD, San JoseSolo
2006The Bay to LAProject gallery, Venice beachSolo
2006The MaxHangar 1018, Los AngelesSolo
2006X-funs Toy ShowEslite Vision Artspace, TaipeiSolo
2006Lights outDashboard, San FranciscoSolo
2006May group showHive, Los AngelesGroup
2006HeadacheBoontling gallery, OaklandSolo
2006April group showHive, Los AngelesGroup
2006Day late Dallar ShoreSubjectmatter, Costa MesaSolo
2005Fresh ProduceGallery AD, San JoseSolo
2005SubmergeLos AngelesSolo
2005All Family ShowDi Rosa Preserve, NapaSolo
2005PUNKS RULE NYCThe show room NYC, NYSolo
2005LabryinthRed Ink, SFSolo
2005Lucien ShapiroDesign Center Arts Fest, SFSolo
2005Group ShowGallery 1, SFGroup
2005Paper ShowThe Rhys Gallery, BostonSolo
2005Yoohoo & DonutsVarnish, SFSolo
2005One WorldAnno Domini, San JoseSolo