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 Stuart Rapeport  (1948 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: abstraction, installation, illustrator

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Ad Code: 4
Stuart Rapeport
Flock, Birds installation
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Stuart Rapeport is a native of Los Angeles. He is an alumnus of University High and a graduate of California State University at Northridge (CSUN), initially majoring in mathematics, but as the Viet Nam war continued and student demonstrations in Ohio resulted in dead students, Stuart switched his major to Fine Art.

At CSUN, he studied traditional printmakingstone lithography, intaglio printing, and etching. With some fellow students, he formed Dummy Doggie Press in 1969. Their primary mission was to use experimental printmaking techniques to speak to the political issues of the day. His professors at CSUN included Hans Burkhardt, Walter Gabrielson, and Peter Plagens. Tom Frecano encouraged Stuart to pursue his artistic nature.

After graduation, Rapeport joined a graphic design firm in Westwood, Californiathe Gibbons Studiowhere he illustrated travel books. Later, he joined General Graphics, an environmental signage company specializing in supergraphics and murals. Simultaneously, he was contributing cartoons under the name R.J.Lee to the "California Art News Journal"the series was titled "Look at me I'm an artist." The cartoons depicted the contradictions in the life of the underground artist reaching out to the art world for attention.

Rapeport has exhibited paintings in various Southern California galleries and the Newport Harbor Art Museum, and the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. His paintings combine found objects and text with the two-dimensional surface of the canvas; each expression justifying the existence of the next.

Rapeport then went to work for the City of Los Angeles's Department of Water and Power to help pay for his art habit. Eventually landing in the IT Department, coordinating the LADWP web site, he continues to create personal artpaintings, drawings, and constructing ephemeral installations. These installations included a piece outside the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art of a figure contemplating his reflection in the mirrored surface of the MOCA sign.

The Spiral Yucca, "yucca's progress" an Environmental piece, man against nature,
Documenting the manipulating the growth of a yucca Plant into a spiral shape is a work in progress and is indicative of the humor and seriousness of the sculptor's work.

Living and working in downtown Los Angeles from 1981 to the present, Stuart possesses the knowledge of an insider reflected in his "Chicken Boy Is Back" cartoon series. Chicken Boythe giant sculpture on the roof of a downtown chicken shackrepresents the perennial outsider, never quite fitting in (though wanting to), observing his changing surroundings with dignity and intelligence. The love/hate reality of the traffic, the daily adventures of life filled with optimistic immigrants, down and-out veterans, hustling business people, exploitative real estate agents, the lack of basic amenities, the excitement of new construction, monumental architecture juxtaposed with people sleeping in doorwaysthis is all but a part of Chicken Boy's world.

The Los Angeles Garment & Citizen shares Chicken Boy's adventures (as drawn by Rapeport and written by him and T.K Nagano) with the downtown public.

Written by Amy Inouye with input by the artist and submitted January 2004.

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