David Leonardo Exhibits at Galeria Pacifico
Published Nov 11, 2008, 2:42pm - (Updated Nov 28, 2011, 5:47pm)
Galeria Pacifico is excited to announce its upcoming first solo exhibition of the season. On Wednesday, November 12, the gallery will inaugurate the exhibit of San Miguel de Allende based artist, David Leonardo, with a cocktail reception during the Wednesday Art Walk from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. This amazingly talented painter will present over 45 diverse works of oil on canvas or board that range in size from 8 x 12 inches to 15 x 4 feet and cover the gamut of styles from the totally abstract to the highly figurative and detailed, and encompassing the expressionistic to the romantically realistic.
People unfamiliar with Leonardo might get the impression at first glance that they are attending a collective exhibition of three or four painters. However, the dissimilarities eventually appear to be more united by a hard to describe but readily noticeable spirituality or mystique that even affects the abstracts. This is not an artist focusing on arrangements of fruits or flowers, but someone to whom art and philosophy are as intertwined as bread and butter or tortillas and beans, and to whom art has the power to inspire peace and harmony and to educate through historical references. He is also an artist who is shown internationally and is in important collections such as that at the American Medical Association headquarters in Washington DC, the Napa Valley Cultural Center and the Robert Mondavi Vineyards. He has participated in over 35 solo and collective exhibitions in galleries and museums in Mexico, the United States and Nicaragua. His most recent honor is having work acquired by the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, the largest facility with that focus in the US.
Leonardo was born and raised in Mexico City and received a degree and employment in International Relations. However, he had also painted since his teens, and eventually headed to the acclaimed San Carlos Academy of Art to study mural painting with Arnold Belkin and other masters. Belkin, who went on to achieve international acclaim, had emigrated from Canada in the 50´s to study with David Alfaro Siqueros, one of the famous trio, along with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco, who had elevated mural painting in Mexico to the status of being one of the great art movements of the Twentieth Century. Belkin conveyed to Leonardo a sensibility that the muralists shared, a belief in the power of culture to have a positive influence, both on individuals, groups and even nations. All together Leonardo has painted eleven major murals himself, four of them in San Miguel de Allende at such places as the City Hall, Public Library and the famous art and language school, El Instituto de Allende. His themes range from the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, the Mexican Revolution with Spain and the History of the Aztecs, among others.
These themes are also integrated into Leonardo’s easel paintings along with Eastern philosophy such as the Buddhist dharma practice and the beliefs and traditions of ancient indigenous cultures in Latin America, such as the Mayans and Incas as well as the Huichols. His dedication to this idea once took him to the remote mountains of Nayarit State to participate in the ancient peyote ceremonies of the Huichol Indians of that area, a commitment that involved several days of fasting as preparation for a ceremony lasting a few days. His general belief is that spiritual practices can create an enlightenment that can lead to joy, serenity, and purity.
You are invited to meet this dynamic artist at Galeria Pacifico, on either November 12, 2008. The gallery is conveniently located downtown at Aldama 174, between Juarez and Morelos. A reduced display of Leonardo’s works will be mounted at the gallery throughout the season. If you'd like to explore his work further, you can also explore his images on our own artist gallery (please see link below).