Remembering a Legend

Let me set the stage. It’s 2014 and I’m boarding my first-ever cruise ship. I’m in awe by the sheer size of it all and the fact that there’s a waterslide in the very middle of the top deck. There’s food, drink, and entertainment around the clock. There’s something else, too. There’s art. All over the ship, there are paintings that line the walls. And on that very first cruise, one particular theme caught my eye: cartoon owls.

Cruise Art

I didn’t purchase any art that first cruise. In fact, as I look back on it, I’m not sure I even knew that I could; I was such a newbie! It wasn’t until my second cruise onboard Carnival Conquest that I attended my first Park West Gallery Champagne Art Auction. Here, I got to learn about the artist behind the owls. A man named David Le Batard – better known to the world as Lebo. Cartoon Expressionism was his style and he had many different paintings that went up on the auction block.

I knew I wanted to take a piece home with me. After all, anyone that has cruised knows there’s a special spot that cruise art holds. Every time you walk by it or see it in photos, you’re transported back to the ship.

But Park West Gallery had a better idea: why not become a collector of Lebo’s work and take home THREE pieces! And that’s just what I did.

A Light Shines Through (2013)

Make a Joyful Sound (2013)

Seems Just Like Yesterday (2013)

A Collector

With a wave of my bid card in the air, I became a collector of Lebo’s work. I wouldn’t actually receive the artwork for a couple months to allow new frames to be installed. Because of this delay, ironically, I found myself moving across the country for work before ever hanging a single piece of work on the wall. Fast forward to today, and all three bring a smile to my face whenever I see them. I also added a fourth piece to my collection last year: Full Moon, Night Jasmine, Blue Breeze (2013).

Remembering Lebo

On Tuesday, August 1, I woke up to a text from Rocky saying, “Call me, please.” I did immediately and he started the call with, “I’ve got some bad news.” He shared the news of Lebo’s passing and I was shocked. After battling an illness for a year, he was gone at just 50 years old. Later that day, Park West Gallery sent out an eamil tribute in his memory that ended with the quote, “The human body will ultimately and unfortunately fail and fade from this mortal coil, but art is eternal.”

I never got to meet Lebo, however, we did get the chance to interact on Twitter over the past several years. I will forever hold those interactions – and the art he left behind – close to my heart.

Sending out our love and condolences to all who knew and were touched by the amazing David Le Batard (Lebo).

Learn More

You can read all about Lebo over at Park West Gallery (including a lovely tribute honoring his legacy).

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