Through his work, artist Jehan Legac uses every element as an opportunity to entice. And like Benjamin Braddock tempted by Mrs. Robinson’s long, bare legs in “The Graduate,” we’re clearly no match for the photographerturned- digital painter’s potent celebrations of women. Primal and provocative with hints of nudity – a bit like snagging an unexpected glimpse behind a private peepshow curtain – Legac’s large-scale oil on canvas works give nods to both bawdy burlesque and futuristic space odyssey, with an occasional twist of dreamy, angelic charm.
Legac’s subjects are fantasies on canvas with lush curves – full lips, luxurious lashes, perfectly perky breasts and ample bot toms – and a slick, runway-ready style that draws influence from sci-fi cinema as much as the catwalks of high-end fashion. More fluid than static, like a sensual ballet of bodies in motion, Legac’s work is more exaltation than degradation, even when the images are shamelessly sexual. While he focuses primarily on modern photorealism – which allows him to bring together his love of photography, computer design and painting seamlessly – he also merges elements of Impressionism, surrealism and abstract style, of fering a visionary’s blend of high sophistication and contemporary innovation. His color palet te is punctuated by bold hues– lime green, sun-soaked gold, royal blue, fuchsia and deep purple – a strong match against his subjects that are at their core the pure essence of futuristic fantasy. Legac’s poetic artistic voice – like that of a master chef who merges the flavors of several regions’ cuisines – clearly reflects a global influence that showcases the cities where the artist has lived and worked, including NYC, Bangkok, Miami, Los Angeles, Caracas, and his current home, the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. In addition to touches of big-city vibe and global heat, Legac’s work also showcases the varied media with which he’s worked, ever since he first stepped behind the lens of a camera.
Legac’s career started as a photographer in Paris – his first gig was prowling Parisian roof tops photographing cats and though there are few urban spaces that rival the city on the Seine, he found his horizons expanding when he joined the French Navy, and as a private photographer for Admiral Philippe de Gaulle traveled the world with his lens. Eventually Legac found himself in New York City, where the city that never sleeps allowed him to further develop his keen eye for the female form in all its compelling beauty. As he began exploring the immeasurable possibilities that come with computer design, his photography background translated easily, effortlessly into that artistic genre Like a modern Vargas girl, Legac’s subjects are part pin-up, part figments of pure imagination infused with an ultramodern vibe, of ten as ironic as the American pop art movement that gave us Andy Warhol.
Whether rising from the steamy swelter of a Miami night or surrounded by the techno-charged spirit of his beloved Bangkok, these are the
exotic women whose images must flash through the fantastic fantasy life of Legac, who brings them to life as desire on canvas. He frames
them with distinctive elements that rise like smoke from a cigaret te or melt as if they were frosting in the sun, showcasing his mastery of space and framing.
Legac melds together soft curves and hard edges, of fering a distinctive sensibility that has given him a clear voice in the realm of futuristic art. And in his hands, flashes of Fosse’s jazz age and Dali’s daydreams become a decadent feast of the senses, a trippy hallucination captured on canvas in sumptuous, luscious detail. As his canvases fuse touches of old Hollywood with an electric sizzle,
Legac remains true to his voice, and rarely strays from showcasing women as erotic images that seem at once both unat tainable – shapeshif ting like a surreal sci-fi dreamscape – and absolutely welcoming.
In Legac’s bold world, she’s part girl next door, part dream girl just out of reach. Where his photographs are real and raw, and capture mood and emotion, even amid the feverish buzz of city streets, his painting portfolio is pure fantasy, from those surreptitiously torn from a magazine to be tucked beneath a mat tress to those born in cyberspace, where any decadent desire is possible. Legac lives with his wife and muse, Thea, primarily in Ibiza, though who knows where the search for perfect light will take them next.
(Brenda Neugent / Ultramodern art with a sizzle)