Portfolio of Leonel Cunha, an artist form Vila do Conde Portugal.


About 2022

An exhibition about the historical present, of a year just ended, is it possible?
Of course!

The exhibitions deal with this, with bringing to light what occupies the artist's body, permeable to what surrounds him, which shapes the way he sees what he looks at. And what looks at it also looks at it, impelling it to reaction, to movement. This is where the proclamative will is born. Later, on stage, what comes from the reciprocity of looks is enacted.

The work is embodied, at first, on the pictorial stage, then in the exhibition space. There is a double staging, in the first moment in the pictorial space and then, in the second moment, in the space where the spectator looks at the staged work and, with his presence, gives rise to the scenic places.

His presence is important, fundamental, because he is a nuclear figure, although-still-absent, at the moment of staging objects in space. The stage is staged by imagining it present interacting with the pictorial actors in the space. These, the objects, and the pictorial actors are there, giving themselves to the spectator's gaze, waiting for his gaze, impelling him to move, to relate what he is looking at with what he has already looked at, to make him feel present. , managing your expectations while occupying the scenic spot on the painting stage. The stage is to be occupied by your body, to be experienced, in the figure of the flâneur in search of new sensations, to relate the body -yours- with the places staged in the revealed space -not the measurable geometric space- that promotes a relationship intimate, in an internal logic of interaction between the work, space and the body, which allows the aesthetic experience to take place.

In this exhibition, the Studio Portrait series alludes to the grotesque, understood here as a figure out of place, in the space between. In this series, the ideal representation is surpassed, giving way to an excessive regime of representation of form, of fusion of parts and territories, where exaggeration, satire and the bizarre are present, creating a disturbing and sentimental imagery. Thus, grotesque and comic figures are presented to the observer's eye at the same time, because they are clumsy, disproportionate, strange in the face of the notions of beauty and balance. In carrying out the montage, the idea was present, fictionalised of the portraits of the X family after posing in the studio of the photographer Y, serving as a scenic place on the stage, where the spectator can walk, occupy the places with his body and look from different points of view. This is the stage of a theater outside borders. Here, the paintings do not belong on the wall, they are pictorial actors who occupy the staged stage and wait for the spectator, and, problematising their reception conditions, create spaces for the spectator's performative movement.

*Photos by André Lemos Pinto