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Awardee: Shaun Leonardo

Emerging Fields, 2016

Shaun Leonardo is a multidisciplinary artist who uses modes of self-portraiture as a means to convey the complexities of masculine identity and question preconceived notions of manhood. The portraits take the form of cutout paintings, drawings, and sculptures, while also brought to life through performance. Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens, New York City. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has received awards from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The New York Studio School, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Matters, New York Foundation for the Arts, McColl Center for Visual Art, Franklin Furnace and The Jerome Foundation. His work has been presented in galleries and institutions, nationally and internationally, and was recently featured in the exhibitions Crossing Brooklyn at Brooklyn Museum, Radical Presence at Studio Museum in Harlem, and Between History and the Body at 8th Floor Gallery. 

http://elcleonardo.com

Project: Mirror / Echo / Tilt

Mirror / Echo / Tilt is a collaborative project between artists, educators and individuals affected by the justice system. Using magical realism as a framework, performative vignettes are translated through the body and recorded in vacant former institutions such as empty prisons and courthouses—to consider how individuals might assert agency in the reclamation of physical and psychic space. Taking the form of video, performance, text, archive and curriculum, the work envisions new language around the way we engage mass Incarceration and inserts counter narratives into the dominant media landscape, which commonly alienates and criminalizes black and brown bodies.