Leslie Farago - About the beer mats.

Thomas Connolly Bar, Sligo Town, Co Sligo, Republic of Ireland

21/8/97 20:56

Leaning upright on the low bar stool, staring down at the table. Fourteen years old, I can’t drink. What’s this place all about? Smoke slowly rises towards the light framing the pool table; it glows green. Out of the small panoramic window too high for anyone to see, the light slowly begins to fade to the west, out past Sligo bay. Who’s in for killer (pool)? Pick a pocket. The locals have this game down to a tee. Drinks flow; well not for me. A pretty rough crowd by all accounts; shouting to be heard over the tinny sounds and under the low ceilings. My head remains down. The dark corner my protector. I flip the beer mats; flustered I tear them. I collect them don’t you know. Have at least twelve from this trip alone. When I get home from my summer holiday they can go up on my wall; a record of my survival of these pubs round here. The brash colours and curved corners of the humble beer mat. Brash, bright, curved and flat. I want to look at them forever. Watch their logos grow old, their colours fade on my bedroom wall. Until the day when it is time to let them go. But I will never forget. The memories will always remain: smoky light, feigned laughter, echoed voices, clinking coins, chipped tables and me staring back in the corner, day dreaming in the fading darkness about the memory I will have of this moment. Preserve and cherish the humble beer mat.

Find out about Leslie Farago work bellow.

My work celebrates mistakes, accidents; unloved surfaces and structures that, in my mind, lay forgotten. Growing up in London in the 1980s and 90s, I have always found beauty in the places in-between origin and destination, and over the past fifteen years have recreated the journeys I would make as a child in the car on foot. My fascination with how the look and function of places change over time has led me to re-explore and re-record. Referencing material things I valued during childhood such as collections of computer games magazines, trainers and music helps place my work within a specific period of time. Repeated patterns form a large part of my compositions; I am currently using a double-hexagon pattern that I have adapted from the Reebok Hexalite logo that I was drawn to during the mid 90s. This stuff I once cherished, merged with my meandering, that influences the colours, shapes and marks within my paintings. The layering of spray paint, crayons, oils and acrylics combined with old works on paper create rich surfaces that have been assembled over time. Contrasting the greys, blues, browns and ochres of the concrete jungle with traces of luminous hues that often flash up whilst on a journey creates a focus within each composition. Certain recognisable structures such as lampposts appear in the foreground of some works offering a vertical reference point against the grid like backdrop. The lack of perspective within these paintings suggestive of landscapes sums up the collapsing of time between my past and my present. Spending the last fifteen years investigating the previous fifteen years of my life has led me to create flashbacks to better memories. Preserve and cherish the forgotten.

Leslie Farago will be exhibiting his most recent series of work in a solo show titled ‘Catenary Lights’ at the Gallery @ Idea Store Whitechapel, London between 31st March and 30th April 2017.



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