Alejandro Contreras, Project Room
Sleeping Giant | Shaun El C. Leonardo
Self-portrait Remix, performance by Shaun El C. Leonardo, May 14 at 8pm
HUE | Alejandro Contreras May 14 – July 2, 2011 Opening Reception: May 14, from 7 - 10pm
Praxis International Art is pleased to present Sleeping Giant, the first solo exhibition of works, by Shaun El C. Leonardo in Miami. In addition, HUE, a solo exhibition of works by Alejandro Contreras in the project room
Shaun El C. Leonardo blends personal narrative and pop-cultural iconography from his childhood with self-portraiture as a means to convey the complexities of his own masculine identity. He depicts these complexities through the practice of painting and performance. Sleeping Giant is an exhibition that presents a ring of self-portrayed heroes overshadowed by the hero’s lament. These cross-cultural heroes are captured at the most powerful and susceptible moments. They are isolated from their environments and gazed upon by the audience. This ring of exchanged glances revolves around a performance, Self-Portrait Remix, during the opening reception.
For over five years, Self-portrait Remix has manifested an expression of the artist's identity through music. Shaun El C. Leonardo performs to seemingly disparate styles of dance and song that together reflect the totality of his background. Now in the 6th and final iteration of the piece, the artist intends, for the first time, to perform Self-portrait Remix with a female counterpart, as a means to question the viewers’ perception of his masculine identity. This performance will be the last presentation of a three-city tour.
Shaun El C. Leonardo currently lives and works in Queens, New York City. He received his BFA from Bowdoin College and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited widely in institutions, galleries and art fairs, including museums like El Museo del Barrio and recently featured in Greater New York 5 Year Review at MOMA PS1 in New York. Shaun El C. Leonardo has been awarded numerous grants, such as Art Matters and New York Foundation for the Arts and has been in residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The New York Studio School, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and McColl Center for Visual Art, among others.
Alejandro Contreras plays with the visual aspects and materials that are common practice in advertisement. He creates optical illusions of depth by layering vinyl on resin. The Image rendered is lost in translation due to process and become an attractive array of hues.
Alejandro Contreras is a young emerging Miami artist born in Caracas, Venezuela. He received his BFA from the New World School of the Arts.