Since we’re rounding the final stretch of “Reckoning“- the surrealistic show that took over the walls of 1AM this month, we sat down with curator and artist Leon Loucheur to get the background scoop. Believe me, you’ll want to read through to the end! "Don't Let It Bring You Down" by Leon Loucheur

As curator, where did the concept behind “Reckoning” come from?

The truth is that it was a bit of a collaborative effort between myself, Robert Bowen and Optimist. We were the only three artists on the show at the time. My role was really fostering the conversation and brokering a concept that would inspire good work. The idea was to come up with something specific and relevant to what was going on in the world, but without suffocating the freedom and creativity of the artists.  We didn’t want to get bogged down with the show being a commentary about one specific thing. In the end, we all agreed that Reckoning was contemporary, reflecting the whole 2012 vibe, but offered a lot of room for interpretation.

How did you select the artists for the show?

Well, I’m lucky to have a lot of dope friends. The only artist I put on who wasn’t homie status was Robert Bowen. Lucky for me he’s about the nicest guy you could ever send a cold email to. Of course I loved his work and he fit into the stylistic concept I had envisioned.  Everybody shared the ability to render realism at a high level, and then each artist had their own take on branching that out into something else. There is a lot of style-mixing with this group of artists, and that is something I try to explore in my own work, so it all just naturally fit.

What do you enjoy most about curating?

By far the camaraderie of putting something together with a group of dedicated, talented people. Plus all the burritos Roman bought me.

How long have you been curating and what would you like to curate in the future?

This was my first go at curating. It was a lot of fun, but also a little stressful at times. Artist are by nature very independent and unpredictable, and even with a group of trustworthy homies, there’s still that voice in the back of your head saying “what if.”  I think my game plan for the foreseeable future is to put the curation in someone else’s hands and do what I do best, which is focus on painting.

Then again, who knows what the future holds.

What plays the biggest role in your art and your life?

The most honest answer is my wife, who has generously supported my degenerate ass over the years, feeds me, and has never said no to me being out all night painting or hunched into my easel working on the obsession of the moment. I’m not gonna tell you she’s loved every minute of it, but as far as I can tell she still likes me.

Who has influenced you?

Frida Kahlo, Mike Gallegos, Blaine Fontana, Doze Green, Twist, Herakut, David Choong Lee, all of my homies including each and every person in this show. Aceyalone, The Grouch, Bob Dylan. I’ve suckled at the teat of many an artist over the years, and there’s no way I could name them all, so I’ll leave it at that.

Was there a pivotal moment in your career that put you in the direction you wanted to be in?

I try not to put too much faith in pivotal moments. What I’ve always found to be infinitely more critical is having a genuine love for what you do and putting in work each and every day. The power of consistency magnified by the passage of time is awesome.

What is something people may not know about you?

That I’m the world’s greatest mom. That I pack lunches and wipe noses and asses all day. That I have heard the theme song for Dora and Elmo more times than any adult ever should. That I kick ass at Chutes and Ladders and am not afraid to gloat in the face of a preschooler. I also enjoy long walks in the woods, Trader Joe’s beer, and gluing quarters to the sidewalk (best 25 cents you’ll ever spend).

Reckoning” will be showing until Saturday, October 27th. Questions or inquiries? Email info(at)1AMSF.com.