Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

{enter gallery above}

“What you have inherited from your forefathers you must first win for yourself, if you are to possess it.”
- Goethe

You can walk into any library and read the stories of those that came before you. But you can also sit in the middle of all those books and create your own tale and adventure. In large part, this is exactly what Denver artist Scot LeFavor has done, and continues to do.

When you produce the kind of work that LeFavor has been over the years, in more than essence, you are writing a new story. Your story. The story of the people around you. Laced with typography, words and phrases – LeFavor is more apt to leave his story in some clear, dry place as oppose the kind of abstract confusion that another style of visual art may be prone to. More of a graphic artist, printmaker and communitarian, LeFavor’s pieces are blades of progressive thought and commentary that cut through the hundreds of years of alleyway rust in cities like ours, and beyond.

Hailing from the East Coast, LeFavor certainly took an unorthodox route to landing in Denver. By way of Boston, Hartford, Vail, Boulder - with incessant and intermittent trips everywhere he could reach his grasp - LeFavor has been creating his own story with every click of his pedometer.

Once an owner of the now-defunct Sovereign Gallery in Boulder, LeFavor helped shift the once-collective gallery into a polished, reputable showroom that was curated by LeFavor himself. With the great urban contemporary communities of Boulder and Denver around him – LeFavor planted a few tenuous roots and called this home, where the plains meets the knees of the Rockies. Now settled, LeFavor has taken-on a special place in the hearts of the urban contemporarists around him. If you couple talking with him with looking at his work, and it’s no real wonder.

Like so many, struggling to create meaning in one’s own life is a battle which only finds meager victories along the way. Like you or me, Scot LeFavor had tread through the murky waters of self-confidence and the unknowing and irrationality of living in a social, cosmic network of beings and humans alike. But in that place where one has spent deliberate time standing in the face of the winds of history – one does, eventually, find his/her place in this humbling world.

A graphic design and printmaking graduate, LeFavor’s collegiate years were characterized by a pronounced intensity and sense of self-discipline when it came to the function of learning and creating work. A natural artist, with a diverse set of skills, LeFavor engaged in his first love, art, as more of a need than a real desire. And in that same space where his mentors taught him that there is a purpose in everything and an ethic in design – LeFavor internalized these notions, among many – to begin building the kind of life that he knew he was capable of. Now, many years later and living as a working artist LeFavor looks back on his family, their support, his upbringing and the unorthodox path that he carved as nothing less than fortunate.

Again, you can sit amidst the great masters in a museum and gaze up and into their work for all of your days, or you can create your own work; your own masterpiece. In this way, LeFavor has internalized his pursuit, his lifestyle and his ambition to that kind of degree that it simply rides above the lumpy corduroy road of his life. Always with a notepad and some drawing and writing implement near, LeFavor treats his brain and subsequently his notepad, as some kind of recording sponge – reeling-in bits of life around him like gems along his path – from which he culls that information into some kind of cohesive whole.

It is these gems that LeFavor creates his work from. Constantly scribbling, he will slide the seemingly random, inerrant pieces of life from his notebook and mind, onto a figurative canvas, from which he will begin to create his work. For LeFavor, it’s always conceptualize, then create.

And where the production of work, that flexing of the creative eye, is a pastime for some – there is an integral part of LeFavor that relies on this production for his happiness, for his state of mind. For while he loves the process of pulling-in parts of the world that he sees for himself, it’s the act of creative production that proves more-meditative than anything; a stabilizing stone, if you will.

Maybe the analogy can extend further, as LeFavor is not only creating art, or his own story – but his own stone. Working on masonite as well as other found materials, LeFavor uses a multitude of mediums to create his visions: spray paint, acrylic, found print materials and more. Like a deejay, or really just finding himself working in the tradition of urban contemporarists, LeFavor looks to the world around him for inspiration, takes that information and aims to create something inherently new out of it.

Part-printmaker, part graphic artist, part graffiti artist, LeFavor’s pieces are laced with simple and complex statements alike. LeFavor’s work bridges social commentary, individual responsibility and political ideologies. In his approach, his work oftentimes feels more like a rogue assault on the conscience – taking previous words and ideas and associating them with fresh images and avenues of thought.

Maybe it’s Boston. Maybe it’s not. Whichever way, Scot LeFavor has retained a blue-collar work ethic about his approach. He has put in his time. He has put in his money, eaten costs. He has shown at every available venue in town. He prices his work affordably. And he keeps a community of people around him that work with this same ethic in-mind.

I sometimes wonder if Denver is any different from other cities. I wonder if the music community is unique. I wonder if the art world in the Queen City is any different, any better. Then I look at the urban contemporary artists and scenesters and I can only smile. For it is here where I find that close-knit kind of community that, whether or not it’s happening elsewhere, makes you believe a little more in your future humankind. In part, this is why Scot LeFavor lives here at all. In part, it’s why he stays.

For just as graffiti is an indicator as to where a city is, so too can the same be said for the state of the art scene in a community. And if this is true, Denver does have a vibrant pulse and a provocative city around its heart.

Stay tuned with LeFavor’s upcoming rogue exhibitions and statements: www.scotlefavor.com.