Lot 124: David Lebe

Atlantic City High Rise
Pigment print
17 x 22 inches
Series: Light Drawings
Edition 5/25
Signed verso ink
Courtesy of the artist
Fair Market Value

Born 1948 in Manhattan. Went to Philadelphia College of Art (Became University of the Arts in 1985), and then taught there from 1972 to 1990. Exhibited widely. Work is part of many private and public collections. Moved to New York’s Hudson Valley with partner Jack Potter in 1992 after we both had AIDS. Continued to make work and occasionally exhibit. In 2016-2017 over 230 works made between 1967 and 2015 became part of the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (including an earlier edition number of the print in this auction). An exhibition and several books are in the early planning stage.

I started making light drawings in my tiny apt in 1976. I was bored and wanted to obliterate my surroundings and create instead the illusion of larger spaces. The first drawings were of myself, very simple with no background. Over time I started outlining other people and objects, both indoors and out. In these images the figures also included their surroundings, as illuminated by ambient or studio light. The line of light came to represent, for me, a kind of energy, defining the border between persons or objects and nothingness in the inside and outside world. In images of male figures, some nude, I came to understand that the light line also represented the sexual electricity we can feel along our skin when physically near someone we are attracted to. Those particular pictures were like a neon advertisement announcing the thrill of my existence as a gay man and of all gay men. They were a way of coming out.

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