Carolina Art Crush: Leandro Manzo


Civilization or Barbarism (2016) Mixed Media Pigments on Canvas

Leandro Manzo has been an artist his entire life, first presenting his work at the Museo de Artes Visuales de Quilmes when he wsa only 13 years old! Born in Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina, Manzo has had more than twenty solo exhibitions across the globe, including in Argentina, Japan, and the United States, and close to fifty group exhibitions. In 2005, he received permanent residency in the United States for Exceptional Aptitude in the Field of Arts.

His works can be found in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Cuenca, Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Madrid, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, Mexico City, Osaka, Tokyo and Toronto. In the United States his work is included in collections in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Charlotte, NC, MOLAA Museum Long Beach, CA Permanent collection. His decorations and wall paintings are in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, New York City, Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC.

We were honored that Manzo took the time to answer some questions for us in the midst of preparing for his new show at LaCa ProjectsMar de Mares, that will open today. A reception will be held Friday evening at the Gallery from 6pm – 8pm.


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HCLT: Describe yourself in three words.
LM: Curious, obsessive, tenacious

HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
LM: I never take a decision to become an artist, devote myself to painting was something that was happening to me at an early age and very naturally.
I’ve always painted like all children, and when I became an adult, I realized I was still painting.
I never imagined the possibility of doing anything but draw and paint.
There is always an inner voice drives me to work, work, work…

Yo soy del fin del mundo Requiem Black and White Series (2012) Ink on Paper

HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?

LM: I think everything is inspiring, it depends on where you look. Everything contains perfection, something unique and essential, Where the questions no longer exist and the mystery of creation Begins. A monkey, a crab, the smallest of wild flowers, all objects enclose an admirable unity and order. Finding These qualities, as purely as I can and without circumventing in any way, is my intention.

Artist working on Pacific to Atlantic Watercolors series 2016

HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?

LM: the most recent in what I was working, is a series of watercolors, that were made when he was sailing from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal.
where I have tried to capture many of the things that my eyes have seen and my spirit perceived, and capture the experiences of other beings that move me.
I think when someone is well disposed to do their job, in my case is to paint, absolutely everything is material for it.
This series of spontaneous works, made outdoor, are the seeds of my new work
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas right now?
LM: I think the McColl Center is an institution that is giving opportunity to show their work to quite different artists. For me this is to me is very enriching, and makes a great contribution to the diversity of Charlotte culture life.

Despues de la Tormenta (After the Storm) – Marina Series (2014) Mixed media acrylic and collage on paper

HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in this area?

LM: The work that most impressed me since I arrived to Charlotte, and still  impressed me by his great pictorial quality and content, are Benjamin Long murals at Bank of America lobby.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
LM: I am currently reading these two books, Long Walk To Freedom: Nelson Mandela Autobiography and The Writings Of A Savage by Paul Gauguin, a while ago I was traveling along the same Caribbean islands, where he was living and working

Burrita Iagañosa (Burritos Series-2015) Mixed Media on Canvas

HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte area?
LM: Modestly I think it’s the homemade pizza, that I do for my friends in the studio.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?
LM: In Charlotte, we  will be soon inaugurating Mar de Mares my second solo exhibition at LaCa Projects,that will include works from the black and white series as well as a new series of watercolors which was created based on recent sailings from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean
The opening reception will be Friday, November 18, 6 to 9 pm and the exhibition will be from November 10, 2016 to January 21, 2017

Ceclia appearing in my life -Requiem Black and White Series (2010) Ink on Paper

HCLT: What is up next?

LM: The following is a group show in Buenos Aires, with prestigious colleagues.
And as always continue working to achive new images and ideas in painting
We are looking forward to the opening reception for Mar de Mares  this Friday at LaCa Projects from 6pm to 9pm. (And hopefully to getting an invitation for Manzo’s next pizza night in the studio!!)

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