April 17, 2012

Greg Lamarche – The Man Behind the Kley Collages

Being a creative director who still loves to design most of what i do, I’ve always had trouble creating things that were for “me” or for my own company/brand. Maybe this is just a poorly veiled cop-out, but when creating the visual ID for our new company Kley, we decided to look ‘outside’ for creative inspiration (just like our clients look to us). We also decided we would take a progressive approach, and have periodic artistic interpretations created by true artists – not branding folks.

For the first Kleymation, I reached out to Greg Lamarche. I’ve been a huge fan of Lamarche’s work for several years and when I emailed him to see if he might be interested, he just happened to be coming to LA for his opening – with co-graffiti legend Haze – at Known Gallery. So I met up with Greg at the gallery and we grabbed a few beers afterwards to discuss the project. Greg had some amazing stories and insights;  I was thrilled when he accepted the project. Greg hooked us up with the Kley collages seen all over our site – the first of many Kleymations to come. Hope you dig them as much as I do. Thanks Greg!


A Bit About Greg:

Inspired by the dynamism of his native New York City and its role as an incubator of the outlaw art of graffiti, Greg Lamarche’s collages combine the city’s relentless rhythm and graffiti’s aggressive presence to express the power, elegance and rebelliousness of urban creativity. Using found materials and commercially printed papers from his vast collection of vintage printed matter, Lamarche abstracts graffiti’s visual language, playing with a profusion of font styles, word fragments, multiple layers, bold colors, rhythmic repetition, multiple perspective and movement. Each unique work of precisely hand-cut paper thus becomes an interplay of the directness of graphic design and the aesthetics of fine art.

Born and raised in New York, Greg Lamarche created his first collages in the sixth grade when he used fireworks wrappers found in his schoolyard. In 1981 he began writing graffiti on the streets and subways, and published SKILLS, a seminal graffiti magazine, in the early 1990s.

Lamarche has worked as both fine artist and graphic designer since 2000, and has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Phoenix, Print, Juxtapoz, Modern Painters and Arkitip among others. His work is also featured in several new books, including GRAFFITI NEW YORK (Eric Felisbret, author; Luke Felisbret, contributor; forward by James Prigoff; October 2009, Abrams. publishers), CUTTING EDGES: CONTEMPORARY COLLAGE, (R. Klantin, H. Hellige and J. Gallagher, editors; February 2011, Die Gestalten Verlag, publishers) and THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN GRAFFITI, (R. Gastman, C. Neelon, authors; April 2011, Harper Collins, publishers) and CRACK & SHINE INTERNATIONAL, (Freddie Forsyth, editor; August 2011, Topsafe London, publishers). Lamarche created the cover graphics for WORLD PIECEBOOK (Sacha Jenkins, David Villorente, authors; June 2011, Prestel USA, publishers.)

You can check out more of Greg’s work on his Facebook page.