A former professional athlete, Lamonte French came into his own as a painter while searching for a creative outlet. His work is varied in its medium and its inspirations—utilizing oils, spray paints, and collage materials, and drawing inspiration from history and social issues. Imagery from America’s contemporary reckoning with race and gentrification live alongside fragments of bible pages or the ghostly outline of an African mask. Fashion is another major source for French’s work, and textiles add a subtle texture to many of his paintings. Though his imagery is full of bold color and a distinctive passion, French’s layered paintings challenge the viewer to receive the art on its own terms—making their own sense of his themes of memory, identity, and American belonging. French is based out of his studio here in Houston.