I met with Riccardo Antonio Leone to get to the heart of his art, an intense creative process that brought salvation to the artist. Leone is a young Italian painter and sculptor whose artistic expression stems from an inner need to ‘draw beauty out of pain’, to transform negative energies into a creative force. As the artist states in this interview, art became the ‘desperate, but also vital and energetic attempt to cling to the threads -the lines of the drawings- to return to life’.
You studied Planning and Management of Cultural Tourism in Padua, so he did not train in an art school. What pushed you to become an artist?
Making art arose from my need for salvation. Isolation, loss of relationships, silence, emptiness, lack of emotions, non-communication for years and the risk of suicide are the foundations on which my art is based. It was a desperate attempt, but also vital and energetic, to cling to the threads – the lines of the drawings – to come back to life. Art represented a way to affirm myself, to extract beauty from pain; something that no one had ever wanted to see inside me. It worked as a kind of redemption, a resilience path to transform and shape the negative into the positive. At the point where you succumb or change, art was my survival.
Your works are based on autobiographical references, becoming, therefore, extremely intimate. How do you express your inner feelings through art?
I work through the element of the line. The line is the maximum form in the smallest matter; it is the essence. As a constantly evolving dance form, it is at the same time a destructive, energetic, vital, tormented, delicate and violent chaos. I use all my energy, both mental and physical, to sort out this mess, to give shape to this flow. But, above all, my work is characterized by an extremely autobiographical line: it separates life from death, or rather, the risks of suicide; transforms it into resilience. This, of course, comes at a cost; It is like making a pact with the devil, there is no freedom without condemnation.
Why did you decide to create sculptures with a 3D pen? What is the most attractive thing about using this technique?
The 3D pen represents perhaps the most innovative and revolutionary tool to date in contemporary art. It allows drawing suspended in the air and creating immediate three-dimensional structures, as well as emphasizing the power of the creative gesture, turning it into a transport in the eyes of the viewer. It’s hypnotic. The origins of my artistic career come from ‘soul embroidery’, 500/600 drawings on paper made with a BIC pen. Over time I gave up the BIC pen to start practicing with a 3D pen, which meant moving from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, from drawing to an art that works in 360º, from an inner need to a more specific investigation, from person to person. artist.
Can you tell us about the creative process behind your works?
The work I do with the 3D pen is a very slow process because the extruded material or recycled plastic is 1mm thick. Therefore, the construction of solid structures, especially when it comes to installations for open places, requires a considerable amount of time. Mins is a work of weaving and intertwining lines made up of micro-details, adding matter instead of taking it away.
I know you are very concerned with the idea of the ‘fifth dimension’, both historically and in a more intimate way. What does it mean to you?
I focus predominantly on two aspects. First, I transform the BIC pen drawings into three-dimensional works. Then, I focus on the fifth dimension that is central to my work, since it allows me to work with space. It is not just about being able to draw suspended in the air, but about overcoming Space and Time, entering another dimension, going beyond. This happens through a flow that arises from an innate need to express myself, as well as a techno-sound that facilitates the process. It is a physical as well as mental transport, my body trembles and I reach a sublimation, capable of freeing the unconscious in the creative act. This traversing of space and time through the fifth dimension does not serve me to reach a goal but to keep me in the flow of things… it is an eternal becoming.
There is a continuous game between fragility and permanence, both in the materials you use and in the fine lines you draw in the air. How do you see your work?
Wave. What I am going to create during the performance is a fluid that, by its nature, is constantly evolving. It does not have a definitive form, it is more of an abstract fluid where the lines intertwine, creating a labyrinth of full and empty spaces. This kind of airy coral also contains a series of contrasts between the single line and the line that, overlapping others, becomes matter. The fluid is part of the individual, bodily fluids that go back to essential forms of bodily regulation, whether it is sexual impulses or physical regulation, it is an internal need to expel, enjoy and release.
Your last performance created a kind of synesthesia combining sound, space, matter, body and sculptural movement. Why did you decide to integrate such elements into your 3D work?
Integrating art and dance is actually the movement that unites these two areas and allows you to experience space and time. The relationship between the artist and the dancer is given by the fact of being able to enter flow and therefore in the fifth dimension and being able to draw the dancer’s dance movements as well as my feeling. It is not about choreography, entertainment shows or commercials, but about a creative process that aims to deepen, also considering the motivations that led me to create.
Although his works often start from specific physical references, they tend to become quite abstract, without a precise beginning or end. How important is it to have this continuous flow?
What I create is a living work, by virtue of the fact that there is no beginning or end in the fifth dimension, the lines are like roots of a tree that can expand to infinity, so the work on display must be installed as music suspended. box but that can continue to rotate maintaining the flow and remaining in the fifth dimension in which it was created, therefore a fluid in continuous movement.
- YOUNG ARTIST TO SEE
I am a freelance journalist who has been collaborating with the FAD for more than 2 years. I recently founded the FOOD ART column, where I interview artists and thinkers working on food-related issues. I have a growing interest in contemporary art, especially ceramics, photography and the performing arts, which I specialized in at The Courtauld Institute of Art.