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Leonardo Pereznieto is, along with me, the co-founder of the contemporary art movement postromanticism. He lives in Mexico and comes from an artistic family: his mother is a musician and his father was a well-known artist. He has won the Mozart Prize for the Arts for his sculpture, which epitomizes the ideals of postromanticism: an incredible life-like quality which is nevertheless full of imagination and fancy; a delicate sensual touch; a passionate sense of the spirituality of earthly existence.

On January 12th, 2012, Leonardo Pereznieto exhibited some of his works at the Able Fine Art Gallery, in New York City, alongside other notable international artists: Tanya Kazakowitz, Kim Wan, Steve Hickok, Kim Wan, Oh Se-Chul, Kim Ji-Young and Park Ju-Hyun. The opening reception was lively, with hundreds of art lovers in attendance. Laura Ramirez, the Associate Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in New York, participated at the opening, representing the Mexican Consulate. The artist John Wellington, the sculptor Cynthia Eardley, the actress Suzi Lorraine, playwright and the director Micheal Simon Hall  also attended the show.

Leonardo Pereznieto has exhibited his work in many prominent galleries throughout the world, including Paris, Florence, London, Montecarlo, Frankfurt, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles, and Mexico City and has delivered over 50 lectures including at the New York Academy of Art, the University of Michigan and at the Celebrity Centre Florence, Italy. Among other honors and prizes, he has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Italy Award for Visual Arts; Premio Firenze (sculpture); the Mozart Prize for the Arts (sculpture), Nice, France and the award at the International Art Festival, New York, NY (sculpture).

Aside from his devotion to art, the artist has also dedicated a large part of his life to humanitarian causes. He is the Director of Visual Arts for the non-profit organization Artists and Runners for Human Rights Mexico, which has the purpose of raising people’s awareness about the UN´s Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Believing that art should also contribute to worthwhile social goals, Leonardo has dedicated the sculpture featured above, entitled The Scream, to the protection of human rights.

We’ve all seen Evard Munch’s Expressionist painting, The Scream (1893). The frantic colors, the skeletal shape of the man on the bridge, his gaping mouth, all suggest angst. This painting might as well be a symbol for the horrors humanity suffered after the artist died: the Stalinist purges, the Holocaust. How do you capture the human capacity for evil and senseless violence through sculpture?

Leonardo Pereznieto manages to do it eloquently in his version of The Scream. This sculpture features a man who resembles in some way Munch’s figure on the bridge: his gaping mouth voices a silent scream, while the lines on his face suggest hopeless anguish. His face is slanted upward, as if appealing for an explanation to the divine. We can’t tell if he finds any solace in faith. But we see quite clearly the source of his anguish: the beautiful woman he has lost, who lies languidly in his arms. Her lifeless shape is now free of pain. His rage contrasts with her endless repose. Together they form a symbol of the innocence and outrage of senseless human suffering.

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

http://www.amazon.com/Romanticism-Postromanticism-Claudia-Moscovici/dp/0739116754


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