On April 13, Scott Leisler, photographed with his wife interior designer Jackie Radisauky Leisler, held an event in Midtown’s Martin Building combining an unveiling of his latest artistic endeavor, Expressions with Lessons, with the Grand Opening of the new offices of Dovetail, his marketing, branding, design and digital agency.
Until 2021, Leisler’s businesses had been located in the CWE. Inferno Media Group opened in 2002 at 447 N. Euclid, where the Neighborhood Security Initiative is now located, and in 2010, the firm, renamed Dovetail, moved to a second floor space at 12 Maryland Plaza, above Twisted Ranch. (Here is a link to a 2018 post on a Dovetail campaign focusing on drug addiction.)
According to Leisler, the move to Midtown was bittersweet: “We miss the culture and vibrancy of the neighborhood, but fortunately I still get to experience all of that, as I’m a resident of the CWE.”
Dovetail staff shown above, include back row: Vinnie Schneider, Dan Graney, Sydney Klarich, Scott Leisler, Steve George. In front row: Janan Nimock, Majo Aparicio, Hunter Lansche, Steffy Gonzalez, Jen Schmid.
Leisler is shown in the Midtown space surrounded by Expressions with Lessons, which he began painting in his basement in December 2021.
Expressions with Lessons is based on a series of phrases that have stayed with the artist throughout the years. As Leisler explained: “Some are my own, others are from books or lyrics, but for some reason or another they have resonated with me based on what’s been happening in my life at that time. There are sayings of inspiration, motivation, and occasionally, cautionary reminders to guide me into the future. I’ve collected them, catalogued them—and tagged them on the walls of my basement as a way of preservation.”
He continued: “As a lifetime artist, designer, and ‘retired’ skateboarder, I’m drawn to big, bold graphics with an urban aesthetic. My work is inspired by street art, hieroglyphics, the beauty of imperfection and artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat.”
Shown above: Oh Baby, Baby, It’s a Wild World
“I approached the work with a mindset to not ‘overthink’ it conceptually. Instead, I set out to put paint on the canvas quickly, with a ‘there are no mistakes or rules, punk-rock attitude.’
“All of the work was produced on canvas using acrylic paint. The bottom layers were brushed on and the top layers were done with Acrylic Molotow paint markers, which allow for a very fluid and crisp way to draw lifework.
“Drips from the top are in their own control, flowing freely where they will. Around these, I added bright color pops, mixed with crisp lines, all drawn with Molotow paint markers to organize the discourse within the chaos.”
Of Let Them Whatever, above, Leisler said: “Marie Antoinette was thought to have said, ‘Let Them Eat Cake.’ Whether she did or not is another story – some say there is no actual proof she said these words. I could just as easily see her saying, ‘Let Them Whatever,’ tongue-in-cheek, as the attitude implies, she really didn’t care what other people thought about her. How would she manage her Instagram handle today? Would she be cancelled or forgiven?”Never Lose Your Fire
“From an artistic expression, I challenged myself to create a piece that I could just as easily imagine on the side of a building next to other street art, as I could see hanging in a traditional turn-of-the-century parlor room — creating some dialogue amongst different styles of design and architecture.”
Since the opening in April, Leisler has been commissioned for a painting here in St. Louis, and a mural in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.
For more information about Expressions with Lessons contact Leisler via his webpage.
Dovetail, 2315 Locust St.
P.S. The opening event was so crowded that I couldn’t take photographs of the art myself, so thanks to Scott Leisler for all the wonderful photographs you see in this post.