An artist's workspace is typically a tranquil sanctuary rarely available to the public--unless you're Miami artist David Le Batard. In his case, painting live in front of a crowd of 40,000 people alongside DJ phenoms Thievery Corporation and country icon Willie Nelson is just another day at the office.
Le Batard, AKA Lebo, was never one for the lonely painter gig. Instead, he has spent his career on stage performing for the masses, while musical artists like the Beastie Boys, Disco Biscuits, and Spam Allstars provide a soundtrack for his brush strokes.
Last week, he published a coffee table book, Inspired by the Beat. It takes a look at the past 10 years of Lebo's work, showcasing photos from his live acts (minus some with Spam Allstars where there is no photographic record), as well as reproductions of his studio work. The book, a piece of art in itself, is priced at $150 and available online at www.artpublishingltd.com. That's pretty steep, so we
asked him where a local could spot his work without dropping $150.
Although Lebo may have hit the big time, his roots remain in
Miami (and his mother would never let him forget it). Here's a quick rundown of where you can see his work:
Kendall: Lebo painted a mural in the Macy's children department back when it was Burdines.
Pinecrest: Check out the painted playground at Temple Beth Am Day School.
Coconut Grove: He's left his mark everywhere from a peacock on Grand
Avenue, to a bike rack in Flamingo Park and a piece at Shake-a-Leg Miami.
Little Havana: Lebo's designs have garnished the Calle Ocho street
festival posters for years, but his 10-year mural in the area was sadly
Downtown: Have you ever noticed the parking garage on NE 15th Street, just west of Biscayne Boulevard?
Wynwood: You might not catch him at a Second Saturday art walk, but you
can view his work on the walls of a building on NE 23rd Street, also
west of Biscayne.
Design District: The Gibson guitar showroom has Lebo written all over it.
Where might you see him next? "I'd like to paint all the pillars around
where the expressways meet," admits Lebo. "They're highly visible and
just asking to be painted."
When asked which bands are on his performing wish list, Lebo said he's
already gotten to work with desired bands like Thievery Corporation,
Femi Kuti, and Burning Spear. "Beyond that," muses Lebo, "I'd really
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like to work with Belle & Sebastian, along with a few jazz legends."
-- Nikki Novo