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Lavar Munroe at M+B


In Lavar Monroe’s “Father Alone” — a title taken from an Ike and Tina Turner song — the artist paints sinewy figures with glowing red skin, blending in a wide array of found objects to build densely filled and patterned surfaces: pearls, mouse traps, dollar bills, sandwich bags, bubble gum, and even a blunt are attached to his painted canvas. Munroe refers to the red figures as “Redbones” describing them in the press release as referencing “a harmony and sameness of mankind once stripped of race markings such as skin.”

Having been raised by a single father, and as one himself, Munroe’s paintings muse on fatherhood, while blending in cultural and religious symbols. In “Virgin and Child,” Munroe swaps the typically female virgin in with a haloed male figure who holds his baby on his lap, his feet dangling into water as if sitting on a dock. A chain of pearls connects the two while a dense fog of ghostly painted objects and patterns swirl around the pair, along with flames and mousetraps — the work celebrates paternal love, insisting on resilience and connection amidst a chaotic journey.

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Image © Lavar Munroe, courtesy of M+B. Photo by Ed Mumford.