Today we’d like to introduce you to Leonard Greco.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My art making begun early, in my youth, painting furniture for summer tourists in Maine, from there I progressed to decorative painting. For twenty-five years I enjoyed a fulfilling career in decorative murals, working with interior designers and sympathetic clients, mostly in the East Coast until relocating westward (in LA, a few celebrities were added to the mix). But then the recession hit and the luxury business for fancy finishes dried up and I was forced to look inward. What did I want to do? A studio artist had seemed an elusive dream, but I decided to pursue it at the mid-century of my existence. Approaching sixty, I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.
Please tell us about your art.
I make a lot of things. Paintings, I love painting in oil, the feel of it, the smell of it, the glistening amber of linseed oil But I also work in acrylic, it’s the workhorse of my practice. My paintings are metaphors that explore the human condition from myriad points of view and ultimately are about my understanding of my place in an ever-changing world. But I start my day with a pencil, drawing is an important part of my studio practice as it allows me to reign in my thoughts, inspirations and dreams while honing my skills and ultimately improves the paintings. I prefer sanguine pencil for aesthetic and symbolic reasons, the essence of blood, a delightful symbol of vitality. I am also a print maker, I love relief prints and look forward to incorporating printmaking with other mediums.
I have recently discovered doll making and sewing. Two disciplines that are personally meaningful, for as a young gay kid, I endured a great deal of abuse for my sissy interests and sewing and dolls were decidedly sissy. I now embrace this. I call them Stuffed Paintings (I’ve enclosed a few), for they are paintings and they are sculptural. They embody two worlds, two approaches to making and I guess being. For in my work I am searching to find the divine in the everyday, to show that all life, in all its incarnations is indeed sacred and beautiful.
I aim for my work to be not of this world yet believable, the in-between time of dream and reality. I also wish, by incorporating multiple mediums, to create, in the spirit of Richard Wagner, a sense of “Gesamtkunstwerk” -a larger more complete personal expression within my imagined universe. For in the end I am a myth maker, as I believe truth is best expressed through the poetry of myth.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Listen to that voice within. Don’t be derivative. Trends and fashion ebb and flow; the best art is true, true to its maker. That is what I have learned, my voice matters. And to draw every day and read more poetry.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a solo show scheduled for February 2019, it is called “Fairyland” at MOAH Cedar in Lancaster California. I am very excited that the art historian Betty Brown will be curating this mixed media show. A book is also in the works, all quite thrilling- and daunting.
I’m essentially spending 2018 in the studio frantically preparing, not exhibiting as much as I usually do but I post my studio time rather obsessively. Instagram is an easy place to pop in, feel free to private message me as well. I also keep a more formal studio journal: www.boondocksbabylon.com.
And a studio visit is always welcome, my studio is in Glassel Park. Give a holler.
- Address: Studio:
2640 San Fernando Rd., unit 30, LA 90065
- Website: www.boondocksbabylon.com
- Phone: 310-498-0817
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: leonardgrecoart
- Facebook: Leonard Greco, Artist
- Twitter: Leonard Greco Art
- Other: www.leonardgreco.me
Personal, Steven Levey, Steve Daley and Shoebox PR