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Micah Lebrun: Profile of a local artist

By Nicole Nardozi

We decide to meet at his apartment, 6pm. Opening the door with a grin, Micah made me feel welcomed and at ease instantly. As he led me through his apartment (or I should say personal art gallery), one of the first things I noticed was how the lighting played with Micah's paintings. The colors were so vivid and alive; the paintings danced right in front of me. Walking from room to room, I was fascinated by the surreal images and comical faces looking at me. Seductive. Captivating. Uncompromising. What can be said about Micah's paintings can also be said about Micah.

After the tour, we cruised over to Edo's Salon Gallery, where Micah's work is currently on display. Edo's is a relatively small, funky hair salon/art gallery. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in depth. For not a penny more than they'd pay elsewhere, patrons have the benefit of enjoying art as their hair gets chopped. Carefully walking around and sometimes over the patrons, Micah pointed out his favorite paintings and explained the stories behind them. Was that a dead bee? What would have changed if she had picked the flowers? And who really is The Spider Killer?

Back at his apartment, Micah put on some music and sat across from me. Patiently and without reserve, he answered every question I asked. I was surprised to learn that he started out in San Francisco painting live art at clubs. Live art for Micah is creating a painting "start to finish" for hours straight amongst the crowd at a club. While painting live art one night, Micah met a girl, Daryl, who asked him to be part of a group show at the Westerfield Mansion. That one incident led to another and another. Three years later, Micah is well known in the underground world of San Francisco artists. He's had as many as 16 openings and with each one, he continues perfecting his style and doing what he loves, painting. His inspirations include everything from other artists and people to signs, objects, words and phrases." Sometimes I'll think of a title of a painting and then come up with a visual to go with the title. Otherwise I'll do one sketch really loose and based on that sketch, I'll do it." Currently unemployed, Micah says he's the least stressed out that he's ever been. "If I have a week with no money coming through, but I painted six good paintings that week, someday I'm going to sell them, you know. That's the way I look at it." Micah hopes to afford a studio in the near future so he can "have his hand in all kinds of shit".

Micah Lebrun's work is currently on view at Tapioka, 1369 Folsom St. If you can't make it there, check out his work on display at Edo Salon Gallery (601 Haight St.) or Villain's Vault (1653 Haight St.). Or email Micah at [email protected], for personal inquiries. Unfortunately he does not yet have a website or business cards. What's up with that Micah?