Maria Veronica Leon V artist from Ecuador in Paris

PAINTINGS

 

 

 

1996-1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

 

 

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

 

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

 

 

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

Paris, 2008

 

Maria-Veronica Leon V, or “the art of portrait making”
Few contemporary artists dare to do something different. Maria-Veronica Leon provokes minds, re-appropriating a genre of painting that’s fallen into disuse, namely portraiture.
Like Ingres, she leaves the psychology of her models untouched. Like him, if we are to believe Baudelaire, she thinks “that nature must be corrected, amended; that cheerful, pleasant trickery, done with the aim of pleasing the eyes, is not only a right, but a duty.” “I want them to see themselves differently, I want to remove them from their everyday life, I give them new life!” she says.
So she invents an environment with unexpected dimensions for them, creates a “new life” for them in and for the painting. In this more open approach to the concept of the art of portraiture, she transforms her subject into a mythological figure and, leaving its status as a minor genre behind, “the art of portrait making” becomes, with her, painting in the broad sense of the term, painting with multiple stories, a mythology.
The cycle of canvases depicting the Duchess of Galliera is exemplary. The famous patron of Genoese arts interpreted by the artist becomes the heroin of a real epic that crosses the ages.
Maria Veronica Leon paints her friends, celebrities, mother and daughter... Flat and face on.
Each of her effigies is intimately linked to a pictorial space which is his/her own. Rounded, fertile forms cross the body; Incan, constructivist, rhythmical geometric shapes obtained with bold colours.
Symbols like Kabbalistic writings of which only the initiates know the secret meaning can take up the whole canvas transcending the figure.
Oils, collages, acrylics, computer generated images, no matter what the material, it’s the result that counts.
Boldly allegorical and cosmic, taking inspiration from the nature she distorts, drawing on her psyche, taking from the cartoon what she needs, her painting is an aesthetically transgressive painting.
The floral motifs on the Duchesse of Galliera’s dress, the necklaces like marine algae, the effects of precious stones and shells in the portrait of Philippe Ferrari …
She loves camouflage effects…Make-up, fabrics, very simple clothes, sometimes skilfully adjusted and frothy lace hide, envelope, metamorphose the model. She sometimes uses CDs as a collage.
With their flashing light, like aggravating and provocative contemporary mosaics, these ordinary materials reflect the light, irritating the viewer.
The ostentatious demonstration of this mundus muliebris [woman’s world] compares her to Léonore Fini. A dark ecstatic sphinx, Léonore Fini is already part of history while Maria-Veronica Leon invents a post-contemporary world with the pulsating rhythm of techno.
In one of her self-portraits to which she gave the exotic title “La Emperadora de China” she depicts herself with a naked torso, sitting in the lotus position, wild, half green and half red, an extravagant show-off. She wears a tie, splits her painting because she is rebelling against the conventional milieu in which she grew up, because she is not what you might think of her, because she is above all a free painter and woman!
Like Klimt, she loves gold. For the Austrian painter, the glow and shine of this precious metal is reminiscent of Byzantium. For Maria-Veronica Leon, the Incan spirituality, the light of the Andes, the solar dimension she encircles her figures with. They look us right in the eye, lofty and morganatic or smiling, as if posing always on show, never letting themselves go.

 

Ileana Cornea
Art critic and curator

 

 

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

MARIA VERONICA PAINTINGS

 

Paris, 2011

 

Maria Veronica Leon, the unravelling thread,
by Ileana Cornea, art critic

 

Her pen moves quickly, blackening the blank page, threads overlapping, stretching and finally taking shape. The organic joins the plant world, pouring out sap, the female body is a secret landscape, a palpitating constellation, a changing topography, a tapestry recounting intimate stories.
It’s the family of Valentine Hugo, Unica Zün, Dora Maar, Léonore Fini, Toyen, and all those whose names have been forgotten, whose line Maria Veronica Leon continues. She belongs to the family of women who brought awareness of the female inner consciousness to the history of art.
Woman considers herself of the cosmos, feels she is part of the telluric and chthonian forces; she is the incarnation of nature.
Maria Veronica instinctively interprets the female body like a living spring, ceaselessly contorting and recomposing itself.
Her drawings are of the utmost precision. Having lived and worked with Pina Bausch’s dance company, she was able to embody in her drawings the energy driving the movements and spirit of the German choreographer. Her drawings develop the dreamlike quality of the body depicted, the metaphor of the being belonging to the universal vibration.
The Ecuadorian artist secretes thread like an insect, like Penelope working on her interminable creation. Guts, nerves, arteries, synapses, this is the living nature of the troubled body, the loving body, the lascivious body, the offered body and the body dancing.
She draws the symbolic thread, Ariana’s thread, entering the intimate labyrinth, the feminine condition, the above and the below blending into one.
Her paintings inherit this pen stroke which goes on into infinity and is peculiar to her. In her portrait gallery, you’re drawn in by the details of the richly worked costumes, the thread increasing the complexity of its turns and blending with colour:
Bits of abstract lace, fluted threads, come together and separate, creepers, complicated and gilded textures; the artist comes from a country where gold symbolises the sun and the silver is moon dust.
Does she retain a memory of this special system of writing that consisted of knots made in woollen cords?
Incan dignitaries used quipu to record the economic and demographic data of the regions they managed and chaskis, the messengers and deliverymen of the kingdom, used them as a map for their routes.
Maria Veronica Leon undoes all the knots of the history of the Incas, adjusting her threads to other artistic languages, like Klimt who brought a glow to the Ravenna mosaics in the reborn modern Vienna.
In her recent canvases, the face of her figures disappears behind a sophisticated mask. Long entangled threads and umbilical cords make and remake the spun thread, and, like Frida Kahlo, the spinner seals the history of her own life. A work of memory like an abstract tapestry with the vibrant colours, the fiery colours reminiscent of the hell in the illuminations of the Hortus deliciarum compiled by Herrade de Landsberg.
Video is her other means of expression. It’s a means of expression for travellers like me, says the artist.
What difference is there between one medium and another when we want to say something about us?
And once again, it’s always the organic palpitation she portrays.
In Pinky, the sequence of images is measured and emphasised by sound.
This video is subtly made, with a sequence of abstract, gelatinous and humid images, like a story with a beginning and an end. Like in her drawings, the artist blurs the boundaries, the internal and the external blend together. Unlike the worrying strangeness in the Surrealist imagination, in this video, she is describing the strangeness of pleasures.
Liquidity as a theme, as a material, is present in her videos as well as the memory of gold harking back to the origins of a royal Ecuador.
Of all the cities in Europe where she’s stayed, only the city of Venice pays homage to both water and gold, to these two elements overlapping in their symbolism.
In this city, wrote Honoré de Balzac, they’re richer than the ten richest houses in Amsterdam, or London, richer than the Rothschilds, in fact richer than the Thousand and One Nights (Palace).
As for her video entitled White Tea-White, her reverie revolves around the mandorle, or the mystical almond symbolising the passage from one world to another, the passage from the interior to the exterior, the passage from burgeoning secrecy to the obviousness of the day.

 

Ileana Cornea Paris March 2008
Art critic and curator

 


MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA 

MARIA VERONICA

Maria Veronica The gold rush

 

Contemporary art is rediscovering gold, this exceptional material, fascinating in its lustre and splendour, which brought glory to Ravenna and was restored to use in art by Gustave Klimt.
In the 21st century, Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor, James Lee Bayars and many other artists boldly revive the tradition of the time of the pharaohs, an imperturbably enduring tradition: “gold is immortality” is the Brahmins’ constant refrain.
“Gold has no part to play in the mythologies of Homo faber.” The historian of religion, Mircea Eliade, spent his lifetime studying this question: “Gold is a creation of Homo Religiosus.” It was the first metal used by man, even though he could not use it to make tools or weapons. “Throughout History and technological innovations, from the use of stone to working bronze, then iron, and finally steel, gold has never played a part.”
Alchemists wanted to turn other metals into gold in order to cure their imperfections. Through this noble material, art touches on the sacred: “The essential symbolic value of gold has never been tainted despite the progressive desacralisation of Nature and human existence.”
There is red, black and lots of gold in Maria Veronica Léon’s painting, the enigmas of her symbolic world exploding from their fiery fusion.
Yellows, greens and blue fuse in a variety of shapes, including squares, circles, trapeziums and pentagons; they splutter into triangles and even more elastic geometric shapes. Her line unfurls such an extraordinary tangle, what can you say?
Maria Veronica Leon’s painting is disconcerting in its originality.
A willing secessionist, she eludes the golden nets she inherits from the Austrian painter who could easily have been her ancestor, but there are others before him, anonymous pre-Colombian artists from whom she gains this inheritance that binds her to the sun.
Her lyricism, freedom and courage make her different; a female artist whose attitude reminiscent of the mythical Penelope weaves her intrigues in the name of civilisation and peace.
Like the Homeric woman, she diverts her craft and directs it towards her own vital experience, thus transforming reality into legend and legend into a wonderful dream.
From the portraiture she has practised for years, she is moving towards her phantasmatic memory and from the likeness of the model to the probability of her adventure.
This is the first time she introduces animals into her painting and gems instead of faces. Men and women lose their smile, their expressions, and their weaknesses. The artist metamorphoses them into natural elements, in the first ages of humanity. When her palette darkens in a dramatic movement, incandescent red evokes the        Dante-esque movement of the lava, deep, dark blue tries to calm the catastrophe, a draped silhouette stands out like a pyramid, instead of the face, a star.
Like Munch, she emphasises the voluptuous language of lines, like Beardsley she loves luxury. Her lines meet, forming her abstract geometric shapes, and this is how she conceives cities, articulating their volumes by organised agglomerations of shapes. Civilisation has a horror of the void, but the black hole is lying in wait for it. If souls petrify in a world of stars, and numbers rule the world, humanity would have to start from zero.
Ileana Cornea Paris May, 2014

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

 

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

MARIA VERONICA

 

 

 

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