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If you buy something at IKEA, return fare on the ferry from Red Hook to Manhattan is free. Not so remote, but not so easy to access, the area inhabited by the furniture behemoth offers this incentive to encourage visitors from the city.  Yet following in the footsteps of former artist enclaves Lower East Side, SoHo and soon, Bushwick, Red Hook has much more to offer as a sanctuary for artists.  Namely, Jérôme Lagarrigue.

In preparation of a solo exhibit at Driscoll Babcock in New York, Lagarrigue is hard at work in his studio.  “Visible Man” is both the culmination of a chance encounter with model and activist Shaun Ross, and the first time the figurative painter has created an entire collection based on a single male subject.  

Genesis by Jerome Lagarrigue

Far from Lagarrigue’s first foray into the spotlight, memorable projects also include “Round Zero” - a four-man show curated by Dexter Wimberly - and a collaboration with preeminent poet Maya Angelou, as illustrator of Poetry for Young People.  The Paris-raised Brooklyn-based artist recounts how Angelou read every word of her prose aloud, asking him to conceive of the narrative’s visuals in rhythm with her voice.

Retaliation by Jerome Lagarrigue

At the heart of this exercise is a distinct lyricism that resonates in Lagarrigue’s work.  Scale and perspective, interludes of color, and a purposeful feeling of movement bring a vulnerable and human quality to his canvases. “Visible Man” opens on Thursday, September 4 at Driscoll Babcock in Chelsea New York.  For more information and gallery hours, visit

Need another reason to visit Red Hook?  Check out Pioneer Works - a $3.7M artist residency and exhibition space conceived by Dustin Yellin.  Built in 1866 by one of the largest machine manufacturers in the United States, the property has since been converted into brilliant atelier for creatives.

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