TREND AND MORAL AGITATOR
Self-taught painter, with a peculiar background, combining entrepreneurship and art, Elka Leonard has been painting on canvas for twenty-five years now, a pictorial universe full of colour and freedom. Sensitive to everything around her, she paints as close as possible to her inner reality.
Derrière chacune de ses œuvres se cache un conte intemporel où la femme se joue d’un homme à peine évoqué mais omniprésent.
Framed outside agreements
"When I die, this is what they will say about me: this one has never belonged to any school, church, institution, academy, especially to any regime, except the regime of freedom. " (Gustave Courbet- 1870)
Elka Leonard is one of those artists who can only be defined by listing the movements to which she does not belong.
It is the vivacity of her acrylics that first magnetically attracts the eye, then comes the perfect balance of her pictorial constructions. In her works, everything is clear, framed but with a peculiarity: her signature which is always an integral part of the painting. It's up to the spectator to find it!
Live the great adventure of being yourself
Self-knowledge and the quest for freedom are the guiding principles of all her work. For Elka Leonard, it is not a question of playing a character, of appearing, but of being.
By painting, Elka Leonard wishes to make the observer think about the man of the 21st century. The latter, trapped in a multitude of alienating injunctions, came to turn away from himself. On the level of thought, the time has come for laziness, passivity, which manifests itself in the acceptance of ideas without prior personal questioning or reflection, a submission to something external to oneself that governs the individual at his own expense, that encroaches on his free will. What place remains for inner silence, the emergence of ideas and thoughts? How to find your own free will?
Faced with this, her Women seek to recover their singularity. Epicurean, they let their aspirations and thoughts guide their choice. A new way of seeing the world that emerged.
Women, a sovereign sensuality
Her work is a tribute to femininity: women, women, the Creator, the one who gives life not only through birth but also through thought. Like Eve, who made the first act of freedom, tasting the apple and moving towards knowledge, her Women opened the way to free will.
Elka depicts them as independent, confident of themselves and their seduction. Like Oscar Wilde "capable of resisting everything but temptation", her Women are not content to exist, they want to live the great adventure of being themselves, to be tempted. Aesthetic, they have the simplest tastes: they are satisfied with the best.
Remember the founding myths
Her characters evolve in typical universes, imbued with history and references, depositories of a French culture that is both retro and very contemporary. Elka Leonard dares to borrow references from all artistic fields. These maliciously sown details invite the viewer to imagine what is not said, suggested or censored. Each one is important: the pattern of a fabric, a cushion, or a sculpture.
The Roaring Twenties, and their new aspirations for freedom and joie de vivre, are her favourite time. The great cultural and intellectual effervescence of this period, marked by creativity and exuberance, is close to her personality. Paris, which became, for some, the centre of pleasure and an ostentatious luxury life, could be the living environment for her women.
A cinematographic painting
Elka paints timeless tales where the woman plays with a man or the Man, hardly evoked but omnipresent... She stages herself before his eyes. The characters play between them scenes with a very precise dramaturgy in which the artist creates dark areas. The painting then becomes mental, it questions the notion of intimacy, memory and oblivion. Without ever revealing her vision, the artist offers everyone the opportunity to recognise themselves and choose their own interpretation.
Her works thus have an air of cinematographic painting. Each work is the theatre of a past, a present and a future that intertwine because, "what counts is the extra soul, the fullness of the past, and the excellence of the present. » André Bercoff.
Desire, omnipresent in her work, creates an inner tension that reconnects the being to itself. And if all her works evoke the deep self, it is through various scenarios that freedom takes place.