The League of Discerning and Cultured Individuals
Art is hard. That’s basically a fact. What’s more challenging, though, can be garnering attention for the work. To fight the battle of recognition, local artist Jason Belmonti compiled a few colleagues, the idea being that collectively, they could accomplish more than by themselves.
Alone, they are just local artists. Together, they are The League of Discerning and Cultured Individuals.
The collective began while attending art school, Belmonti, an ’09 MIAD graduate, says. That’s where he recruited classmates to conspire on the project. They don’t subscribe to any movement and their only mission is to churn out diverse, high-quality artwork.
“The idea is to provide representation through different channels for these artists who I feel are talented and have something to offer — something distinct and original,” he says. “A lot of what goes around in town or the scene that’s here are really established channels that are only interested in representing certain kinds of work.”
Belmonti strives to break this pattern with this collective. He’s not adverse to any artistic style, and hopes to incorporate different media into future shows. For now, the League sticks with 2-D prints and have been featuring some work on their website, dumpybitch.com.
Belmonti hopes to gain attention from the website’s rancorous name and weed out those too uptight to laugh at its confrontational humor.
“Humor is an important element of my work,” he says. “I try and make it something that takes itself seriously and that is serious about being funny. It’s serious about providing that enjoyment for a viewer or user.”
Right now, the collective features five artists, but Belmonti isn’t adverse to expanding, as long as the artists incorporated create exceptional work. Here’s what he says each of the current five members contribute to The League:
Himself: “A lot of my work is … I draw it, I scan it, I overlay it. I’ll spit it out a couple times and run it through the computer. I like making images that are mysterious in their origin, where people can’t always tell how they where made. I oscillate between things that are very absurd and serious.”
Joseph Devine: “He comes from a design background so his work is digital – it starts on the computer. His stuff has an endearing humility to it. A lot of his stuff his very sharp and slick and poppy. It has a broad appeal. It reminds me of vinyl toys; it could be in Hot Pop.”
Ben Frazee: “His drawings are so brutal. There’s something that grates on you about looking at them. They’re meticulous and there’s a passion there, something macabre.”
Máté Kramlik: “He’s from Hungary. He moved here to come to MIAD. He’s the painter, and he does some real phenomenal work with painting, some really abstract stuff. The way he works with color is fun because it walks this line between being very different and very recognizable.”
Jon Murray: “He’s an outside MIAD influence who comes from a tattooing background. His work often involves humor and the creation of bizarre characters. His images are a bit melancholy. His linework is tight and lyrical. This linework is combined with subtle layers of texture to create snapshots of some macabre narrative.”
The League of Discerning and Cultured Individuals’ first showcase starts 7 p.m. on Friday at Jackpot Gallery, 825 E. Center St.