Don Leicht (b. NYC) lives in the Bronx.
John Fekner (b. NYC) lives in Queens.
Fekner pursues fine arts as an undergraduate student at the New York Institute
of Technology and works as an assistant with artists associated with the 55 Mercer
Street Gallery located in Soho (1968-72). At the same time, Leicht attends the
School of Visual Arts studying with Richard Artschwager, Steve Reich and Robert
Fekner and Leicht meet while they are attending graduate school in the Bronx.
They begin to exhibit their work professionally while enrolled in the Lehman College
(CUNY) MFA program (1973-75).
In 1976 they are awarded a studio space at P.S.1, which they share for two years
and begin collaborating on hidden projects throughout the building. Fekner starts a
non-profit organization working with local teenagers and begins creating guerilla art
projects in the outdoor environment.
During the late 70s and throughout the 1980s, Fekner and Leicht are invited to participate
and exhibit their work in almost every alternative space, storefront, club and
emerging museum within the five boroughs of New York. Their media by choice is
essentially industrial. Leicht focuses on steel, automotive paints, aluminum and rubber,
while Fekner uses spray paint and incorporates found objects from the street.
In August 1980, they collaborate on an outdoor project for the People’s Convention
taking place at Charlotte Street in the South Bronx. The intent of the People’s Convention
is to be a foil to the Democratic Convention being held at Madison Square
Garden. Fekner and Leicht’s work transversely complement each other, addressing
the South Bronx community issues with two different and distinct approaches.
Leicht’s Birdfeeders are small scaled and intimate; Fekner’s spray-painted stencils
are succinct, urgent, and dramatic in size and scope.
Leicht and his son, Anthony, contribute to Fekner’s City Squad music project, culminating
in the release of 3 music videos, 3 vinyl records and multiple performances.
Throughout their careers, working together or independently, Fekner and Leicht explore
a wide range of media, ranging from intimate poems and personal writing to
sophisticated digital tools and technologies. Their work and installations have been
exhibited in hundreds of galleries, contemporary art spaces and museums, as well
as being represented in private and public collections worldwide.
Today John Fekner lives in Queens and Don Leicht lives in the Bronx.
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