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Antione Leonard

Claremont, CA - United States

Antione Leonard - Fine Artist

Antione Leonard

Member Since: 05/12/2012

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Im a 34 year-old African American male with distant roots from Cuba. I was born on the west side of Chicago where life was all about knowing how to survive. I believe the best is yet to come. I began to sketch with a clear mind and developed skills that were innate, such as the use of light and shadow. Over the years, I have used this gift to motivate and inspire others. I was born with an eye for art and a passion for drawing and painting. I used my imagination to escape the harsh realities of violence and economic disparity that permeated my community. My fascination with bringing to life delightful settings by using ordinary objects such as bottle tops or toy figurines became my escape.
In September, 1984, the cartoon, Transformers, aired on television and further challenged my imagination. I began to sketch every character created in this cartoon. I realized that I could draw whatever I saw before my eyes, as well as whatever my creative mind could envision. Most of my ideas for art are combined with my philosophical, spiritual, and religious beliefs about life. My identity and where I come from has greatly influenced my work. My style of art is unique because of its connection with guarded ideas and injustices related to tradition, religion, and politics. The mediums I am drawn to are oil, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas, cardboard, or wood.
During high school, I developed an ear for poetry and philosophy, both of which are incorporated into my artwork. My paintings are sometimes well thought out and sometimes unconscious, using ideas based on my lived experiences. The style and focus of my work today is based upon abstract expressionism, realism, and symbolism combined with concepts derived from the Harlem Renaissance art period. The pieces I create are meant to infuse emotion and provoke reactions from others.
One of my greatest accomplishments as an artist took place during 2011. I was selected as one of Chicagoís semifinalists in the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundationís National Fine Arts Competition. This competition was a nationwide search for the newest wave of imaginative artists. I was selected as a semifinalist and had two of my paintings exhibited at Gallery Guichard, a gallery owned by renowned artist Andre Guichard.
I believe my ideas and perspectives on how to live and let live is what sets me apart from the rest. I am willing to explore every idea surrounding my work without any exception. I would like to utilize my academic education in art in my mental health work with young people around juvenile justice. I would also like to open a fine arts printing company and art gallery. I believe the Masters of Fine Art in painting and drawing program at Claremont University Graduate School fits perfectly into my plan to achieve a higher education and understanding of the significance of my work. My philosophical view of art would be compared to life and death, the source of our very beginning and ending. It possesses a serenity and sleep that appears to be neither dead nor living, yet full of life as it sleeps.

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