I see the world with different eyes. I speak French and I love the arts; I am Laurend.Those who have experienced my artistic highs understand why I devote so much time to observing, creating and experimenting. When I first thought of fragmentation, I had in mind techno-realistic sets of patterns. But as the movement evolved, I realized I could convey a stronger message by mixing techno-realism with free hand expressionism. 1985: I arrived in the USA as an exchange student from “Institut des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises de Paris” (Small Business Institute of Paris, France). Our program took place in San Rafael, CA and lasted approximately 3 months. Thereafter, I moved to San Francisco, CA where I had contracted an internship with Bechtel Power Corporation. During that period, painting had vanished from my life. I was more pre-occupied with my school work. My immediate concerns dealt with the “Where” and “How” of life. In the end, I would earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. 1988: I was two quarters away from graduating and still had room for a few electives. I enrolled in drawing 101 and drawing 102; I aced both courses; however, I learned never to mess with pastel or charcoal again. This was the extent of my art education. Today my classroom consists of a few art books. I've accepted and nurtured my denomination as a self-taught artist; my styles are conceived without boundaries or restrictions. What I do is purely a product of my own genius; not a copy of someone else’s skills. This has helped me rediscover the true meaning of figurative artistic expression.
1988 through 1990: These were purely academic years, as I worked towards my Master in Business Administration at Roosevelt University in Chicago. I graduated in August 1990; a few months later, I was working in France. I had forgotten all about art, except art had not forgotten about me. Art is truly my refuge when the going gets tough. The going was getting tough, indeed, but that's another story...Back in the USA in 1991, economic prospects were bleak; the Gulf-War had taken its toll; we were in the middle of a recession; nevertheless, I managed to land a well paying contract assignment with Information Resources Inc. as a translator. I translated computer user documentation from English to French; the assignment lasted one year.Once the contract ended, things changed; again.Faced with adverse reality, I decided to turn my passion into a lucrative venture. Was it easy? Certainly not. Is it easy now? Definitely not. Will it ever be easy? I think not, but I am enjoying the journey. November 1993: I started a new job at Delta Dental of Illinois, making $5.00 an hour. At home, I did freelance translation jobs to supplement my meager income, and I painted to give myself a purpose. It’s in that environment that Françoise Johnson, a French lady, introduced me to Nicole. I had four 9“x12“ paintings on hand.Nicole Gallery was on the second floor at 700 N. Wells. One couldn’t see the gallery from the street but it was nevertheless beautiful inside. A few months down the road, the gallery sold one painting, then a second… We've been working together ever since. The Wells Street gallery must have realized some decent profit for the new one on 230 West Huron was at street level and twice as big; it was also more elaborate and beautiful. In the meantime, I had become an underwriter at Delta Dental. I was given that opportunity by our then Vice President of Underwriting, Mrs. Patricia Vance. I worked for Delta until April of 1999 then transferred to Blue Cross & Blue Shield as a case underwriter under Steve Barr, my hiring manager. 1998: Significant events started to occur in my art world. I developed a portfolio and each painting was carefully crafted for the long haul. The following year, Nicole Gallery moved five of my paintings in one showing.
2000: I participated in my first ever group show in February. We sold a little more than half of the twenty pieces I had on display. I received great support from some of my managers and coworkers from Blue Cross and Delta Dental.It was a great evening and the beginning of new things to come. 2001: Crossroad period in search of style and identity. This year's show was less impressive visually although it generated comparable revenues.
2002: Official introduction of my Fragmentation painting style. The style was well received by the public and appreciation translated into sales. The painting prices have risen substantially over the years and will keep rising as demand increases. Techno-Realism with Traditional Values was born and started to evolve.
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