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Meet Leslie Pierce

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Pierce.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
When I was 6 or 7 my grandmother framed comics I had copied from the Sunday papers after Garry Trudeau’s, “Doonesbury”! Feeling that the art brought my grandmother so much joy and that she had a special place on her wall for things I drew made me very happy. I was sold on creating my own art and when I grew older, carving out my own particular style.

I studied and practiced art, earned a few art degrees and went back to school to learn about 3d modeling, interactive media and digital video. All the while, my interest in contemporary culture, current events and the quest to answer a nagging question has been: Is it not the artists’ job to communicate in some way what is going on in our world today? This is a personal choice for every artist.

I enjoy using different mediums much like different musical instruments to create my work. In the past, I was very well known for a series of photographs titled, “Penetrations” in which Nude Male Life Drawing Models were painted Metallic Silver and afterwards in the studio, pictures of skyscrapers and buildings which I had previously taken were projected onto their bodies. One of these special photographs is part of the Harry Ransom Center’s Collections in Austin, Texas. It is still an extraordinary series and you can see some of the hand printed photographs along with my current Painting series, “Code Defied” at my studio in Liberty Station.

At the end of 2013- before moving from Austin to San Diego, I began the “Code Defied (Codified)” painting series. It is fun to realize the common threads between my earlier photography work and my ongoing signature style paintings.

Please tell us about your art.
I would like for people looking at my work to feel uplifted and curious. It is not necessary to me as an artist that they know the full meaning of what I am visually saying but more importantly that they feel a sense of buoyancy and curiosity, amidst our Daily Chaos.

Artist Statement of my ongoing painting series, “Code Defied”:
I am an artist motivated by contemporary culture and the rapid pace in which we continually absorb information and images. “Codified/ Code Defied”, focuses on how visual information hits our retinas and how images are reduced, rearranged, and interpreted by thought. If something is left out of a story or an image, our brains automatically fill in the rest. This filling-in-the-gaps-response is an interesting area to think about visually, as in how each person perceives images differently, so too is the way we fill in the gaps and negative spaces.

I arrived at the series after a few years of experimenting with abstract figurative work and playing with contrasts of flat and modeled areas. Then one day my printer ran out of ink and left skipping color striations across the page. Most people would have tossed out the paper, however, I felt a surge of inspiration. The image presented was both abstract and figurative and reflected life in our world right now: fast paced, technology driven, fragmented, mysterious and captivating.

From there, I began distilling photo references- most of which I have taken, into vertical lines of paint. Form and value seem to be ironed out, while simultaneously standing up in space. To create tones and volume using vertical lines has been an interesting adventure in paint. Beneath the surface appeal, I am examining ideas on documentation, fragmentation and coding systems. These concepts are contrasted in luscious palettes of ice cream colors that flourish in slice of life contemporary scenes.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I will say that there are many ways to connect for Artists. You can join groups, attend meetings, the usual things suggested like attend openings. Definitely go visit your favorite artists during Open Studios events. You could strike up amazing new artist friendships that way because the artists are at home in their own studios.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
“And Something Different Studio Gallery” is where you can support me as an Artist. I have paintings and photography available for purchasing and I teach Encaustic Painting Workshops and Mixed Media Painting and Drawing classes. Know that when buy a painting and sign up for classes you are helping me do what I do and I sincerely thank you.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Leslie Pierce

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