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The First and Last Freedom

until April 17th, 2019

Hear No, from the short film The Analect

As a sort of retrospective Lucien Shapiro presents The First and Last Freedom, showing a series of pieces that have been emblematic for his artistic production as well as his most recent experimentations.


Shapiro’s art is channeled and tends to build itself through the energies in which he creates. Inspired by his surroundings in his Mexico City studio, where he has been working and living for the past three months, his art has been evolving in new and different ways.


One of the key elements in this new series is The Energy of the Snake, which underlines many of the works for “First and Last Freedom.” Snakes are a symbol of energy, life force, spiritual guidance, and physical, emotional, and spiritual transition. These underlying symbols weave themselves through his current work.


Shapiro creates objects of protection using things he finds on the street, locally found treasures ranging from antiques, crystals, baseball bats, studs, knifes, taxidermies mixing them with recycled materials like head bottle caps, plastic bags and crashed windshield glass.


There is always a performative element in Shapiro´s work. The protection weapons and masks are one of his recurrent explorations intended for safeguard against evil spirits. The artworks are worn and used in ceremonial contexts where the artist designs rituals, most of them involving the participation of the audience with a specific transformative purpose.


First and Last Freedom will feature two performances: one which addresses intention-setting, which will be represented through a labyrinth, and a second which will utilize the hand made protection pieces to create new art works with.


When we see Shapiro’s pieces, we may think that they are meant to be use as weapons. But actually his work is about intention; each piece is a representation of positivity, personal growth, and spiritual protection. This is the challenge that his work presents: the function changes, so does the meaning. It is not often that we are asked to change our own perceptions, but Shapiro’s work invites us to do just that.


bio + cv


Dancing between life and death, Lucien Shapiro’s art is rife with found objects, textures, cast forms, manipulations, raw substances, oddities and multiple personalities. Treating forgotten objects and memories as treasure, he creates a kingdom under which new life is born through sculpture. Urban Obsessions explores both artist’s and viewer’s perception of identity, addiction, and time.


Composed of elaborately constructed masks and ornately armored weaponry, his work examines a relationship between modern waste and memories of ancient cultural artifacts. Practices and customs from the past are brought back to light through Shapiro’s revival of discarded materials, transformed into objects analogous with self protection. Behind masks and armor, we’re enabled with the power to separate and shield ourselves from reality, creating new identities through a deliberate opposition of our true selves. Urban Obsessions tangibly relates the past’s and present’s ritualistic escape from stress, pain and even love.

Shapiro’s sculptures embody the act of compulsive preoccupation. Through his own addiction to the process of painstaking repetition and meticulousness of his craft, we are presented with works that challenge preconceived notions of habits, impulses, and dependencies. Evident in his art is an acceptance of whatever result would come from the consolidation and manipulation of numerous imperfections.


In today’s day and age, the ease at which information and products are made available has led to a continual state of over-consumption. Everyday items have become neglectfully disposable, and there is an immediate desire for what’s new and what’s next. Shapiro’s work, a laborious craft and meditative consumption of time, transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically interesting and beautiful relics that compel viewers to re-evaluate what our everyday possessions represent and mean to us. Lucien Shapiro invites us to slow down, to not only gain appreciation for the artifacts that tell a story about who we are in this day and age, but to find inspiration in the value of time and craft.

cv lucien


Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art “Solo” 2018

  • Hashimoto Contemporary “ From Ash To Diamonds” 2017

  • MAIA Contemporary “Urban Obsessions” 2017

  • Marfa Film Festival “Relics of the World”  2016

  • 40 City Traveling Performance  USA and Europe “A Fools Journey” 2016

  • CES Gallery Project Room “The Wore,” LA, Dec. 2014

  • Guerrero Gallery Project Room “Vessel,” SF, Sept. 2013

  • Cassel Gallery –“Relics of the New World,” SF, Aug,  2012


Group Exhibitions



  • Red Bull House of Art “New Wave”, Detroit

  • Kaaboo Arts and Music “ The Giving Tree”, SD

  • Subliminal Projects “Twenty One”, LA

  • Luna Rienne Gallery “ Sacred Alchemy”, SF



  • Brand Library Art Center “ Nexxus”, LA

  • Dimension Gallery “Cloaked Identity”, Austin TX

  • Hashimoto Contemporary “ANEW,” SF,



  • Subliminal Projects “Primitive Future” LA

  • Kaaboo “ Spider in the Belly of the Goat Installation” SD

  • Full Circle “RVCA Window Installation and Performance” SF

  • Coachella “GLK Experience Live stage Performance” Coachella

  • Hashimoto Contemporary “Summer Group Show” SF

  • Lazarides Edition Series “Hand Made in Retail Space” London

  • Fecal Face Gallery “Six Degrees” SF

  • Modern Edan Gallery “Platinum Cheese Curated Show” SF

  • Hashimoto Contemporary “SuperSonic Electronic Curated Show” SF

  • Jonathan Levine “The Winter Mitten Society” NYC



  • Jonathan Levine “The Winter Mitten Society” NYC

  • Yves Laroche Gallery ”Egregore” Montreal

  • Incline Gallery “Ascension” SF

  • Guerrero Gallery, “Home At Last” SF

  • New Image Gallery, “Natural Balance” LA

  • Bedford Gallery, “Skull Show” WC

  • 111 Minna Gallery, “EK Summer” SF

  • Olive Hyde Gallery, “Decked Out” Fremont

  • Compound Project, “Two” Malibu

  • Ever Gold, “5 year Anniversary” SF

  • Varnish, “LA Art Show Fair” LA



  • 111 Minna “Fabulous 50”, SF, May

  • Varnish Fine Art, “10 yr Anniversary” SF, April

  • This Los Angeles, “These Friends”. LA, April

  • Bold Hype New York, April

  • Known Gallery Los Angeles, Feb

  • Gildar Gallery “Group Show Vol. 3″, Denver, Jan



  • Guerrero Gallery “Winter Group Show”, SF, Dec

  • Wonderland SF “Supernatural”, SF, Nov

  • Lequivive “As show of Heads” Oak. Oct

  • Zero Friends- “Group Show Oakland, July

  • Varnish Fine Art- “The Have and Have Not” SF, Apr

  • 5 Claude Ln –“Days To Come” SF, March

Published Works

Fear Collection Ritual a Fools Journey Book, 260 pg book published by Not a Cult, Nov 2017

Juxtapoz Magazine, Solo Show, Nov 2017                         

Ask Artist, Feature and Interview, June 2016                    

Press Democrat, Show Feature and Interview , March 2016

American Art Collector, Feature and Interview Nov 2016             

Rogue Habits, Feature and Interview, Oct 2014 

Juxtapoz Magazine, Studio Feature, Sept 2014                       

Empty Kingdom, Interview, July 2014                                                          Super Sonic Electronic, Interview, March 2014

Beautiful Decay, Feature, January 2014     

Juxtapoz Magazine, 12 page Feature, Dec 2013

Art Enthusiast, Feature, Sept 2013                                 

Art Attacks, Interview, Sept 2013

Arrested Motion, Feature, Sept 2013


Red Bull House of Art, Aug 2017-Nov 2017                                            Bedstuey Residency June 2017

Split Protection
The Self Fear Relinquishing Ceremony, Ph
Raven (feminine) from the short film, Th
Plastic Mala Death Mask
Omnes sumus Kings Clutching Our Teddy ur
Principem Party Mask
imagenes Lucien
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