Friday, January 18, 2008 to Saturday, February 23, 2008

    • Saturday, January 19, 2008
    Fred Laforge’s exhibit includes his depiction of acceptance and sexuality. Realizing the rules set by society aren’t etched in stone, Lafroge exploits these loopholes, and uses them to his advantage. Laforge challenges western culture and attacks moralities within it, setting out to prove that within every ugly duckling, a true form of beauty emerges. As he cuts deep into the skin of humanity and civilization he unearths the truth of the lives of many that seem perverse and crass. He explores obesity, self-judgment and deformities to provide awareness of how far off our beliefs of living in a beautiful utopia are, and instead, rudely awakens the world to how nasty and imperfect the perfect are. In fact, Laforge provides sanctuary and praise to the imperfect, allowing them to finally shine. “The stereotypes of the mass culture form part of my practice like the signs of a grotesque and futile civilization.” Laforge offers to provide a deeper look into the fine line of what is normal, but in who’s eyes. Exploring the rising pandemic of achieving absolute perfection, Laforge shows that it’s not only women who are constantly under the microscope when dealing with ideal beauty, but in fact, men are now just as watched. In his work, men are depicted as obese and rough looking. However, a sense of acceptance and understanding overwhelms after a final look. The expressions and body language on his subjects allow the comprehension that Laforge is jabbing at society’s idealism and perfectionist views, and that beauty comes in all forms. In one of his works, Laforge merges the head of a bear with the body of an obese male. Commonly, rotund males are subjected to the title of “teddy bears” in a playful and comforting sense. However, allowing the fur from the bear to blend naturally with the body hair of the male, Laforge is able to impose the idea that we are all bound to animal instincts, especially in relation to sexual urges and survival. Laforge is driven by the watermark of the taboo, as he believes that society cannot survive without it. What is deemed unacceptable in our society is the force that causes evolution and advancement, and without these forces society itself would become stagnant. Inspired by what is forbidden in our society, Laforge reflects his beliefs and incorporates them into a form of communication that allows a deliverance of raw and unique art pieces specializing in the breakdown and shake-up of perfectionist and idealistic views. - Michael Iaboni Michael Iaboni is currently enrolled in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College where he graduated from the college’s Scriptwriting program in 2005.