Atoms + Light series
“Visual interpretations” or “Visual perceptions” are what Leandro calls his unique artistic approach, his fine art photography has an obvious contemporary feel; he utilizes the staging of theatrical situations or magical moments – his work is aimed to reveal the landscapes or atmospheres where light is not visible by the unaided eye. These situations are constructed for hours and the image is achieved when a perfect balance of light and the surreal are captured in his ethereal night photography.
These often-cinematic tableaux, with their surreal scenes, are made by long exposures at times with stroboscope light or photoflash, a combination of many elements played in a balance with movement or nature to give a final staged composition.
Inspired by Daguerreotype long exposures, creating at times a modern vision and approach to very long exposure photography, Leandro visually penetrates unseen light in regular conditions. Leandro dissects movement of light and forms in his work, often resulting in unique striking visuals, again elements that the unaided eye cannot see… some of Leandro’s works are inspired by Harold Edgerton’s MIT studies 1926-31.
Leandro’s inspiration is to reveal to the viewer things they cannot see in real time, or to view theatrical compositions in nature that are impossible unless a single frame captures the multiplied bodies or light. Gjon Mili is as well among Leandro’s inspirations where the combination of science and art find a contemporary unique world.
One of Leandro’s true inspirations and influences is his Pierre et Marie Curie University-graduate father (as a Chemical Engineer) for his science approach, and his mother’s artistic views as a writer and Montessori teacher – both of his parents inspired the combination of art and science that is inherent in his photography.
Leandro’s work in Art has been shown in high end BASEL festival in Miami for his mural paintings, as well as with curator Laurence Asseraf from A taste of Art Gallery in TriBeCa in New York City two times. Leandro’s continuous experimentation with nature and studio-based photography keeps expanding to exploit more places and staged situations, magical or real, but always involving what he calls “visual interpretations” of his own.
The offerings of light series is one in which, after nights of experimentation in the dark, Leandro finds a perfect balance where he can illustrate properly his designs by using strings of lights in rapid movement and props to create the resulting images.
These offerings of light come from Leandro’s imagination, motivated by his fascination with mythical creatures that exist in all cultures and continents – they reveal to him a deep understanding of the human psyche.
We all fear, we all need fear, to achieve enlighted moments… These creatures are at times angelical, at times diabolical – they are an interpretation through light of an homage of how the universe provides to enlighten our souls, lives, our darkest dreams or thoughts.
The offerings of light series
In this particular series, Leandro started by just photographing the nude body, then he added light, make up and props – the series took shape progressively, as the intention and vibe mounted. Leandro worked to improvise magic in the moment to create the creatures – he himself did the make up on his wife, instructed her to hold feathers by her teeth, he applied shiny fabrics to reflect an angle of light that changes in every shot, as if on the whim of a muse. The method was a theatrical construction of seconds – when captured by the perfect math on his camera and the perfect symbiosis of art, makeup, light, props and set, the resulting images come to a climax of visuals to choose from.
Always the percentage is slim, but in these hours of elaboration and improvisation, very satisfying visuals can finally be achieved, resulting in this photographic series that indeed touches the mythical – an offering of light to the elusive muse of art and to the creatures that let themselves emerge.
The photographic eye of Leandro Sanchez has been influenced greatly by his diverse upbringing on three continents, which helped formulate his unique outlook on life as witness to 3 world cultures as well their as rich natural landscapes. Background: Leandro was born in Venezuela at the entry of the 1970’s.
The grandson of a known Venezuelan political figure of the 1950’s and 1960’s who fought against the dictatorship and established democracy in the country, Leandro’s mother’s family was extradited to Cuba and then the USA/NYC as a child until her family was allowed to return to Venezuela after the dictatorship toppled. There she met Leandro’s father, a chemical engineer, whose roots include a proud association to his indigenous Guajiro Indian heritage.
Hence Leandro was soaking in differing political ideologies even as he was learning to speak… Leandro moved with his family to Paris as a child while his parents attended graduate school in France, living mere blocks from the visual feast of Luxembourg garden. In Paris Leandro was immersed in French culture, civilization and language for nearly 4 years until he moved back to Venezuela at age 8.
Leandro’s privileged life in Venezuela as a youth in private schools and as a culture-sponge teenager allowed him frequent trips to the USA where he learned English with his Miami cousins and where Leandro also developed a lifelong passion for New York City, his eventual home. This diverse, tri-continent lifestyle began to drive Leandro toward the questioning mind, discerning eye and his adventurous spirit that is at the core of his work. Though he came from a fortunate lifestyle, Leandro never bought into the elite mentality that prevailed in his class and time, this rather has made him battle the obvious disparities that exist in Latin American society between rich and poor.
Leandro left Venezula at 18 to return to Paris to attend University (La Sorbonne, “Cours de langue et Civilization Francaise”) where he began his adult visual artistic journey – Leandro attended film school ( E.I.C.A.R) and soon began working as a scout for film and commercials in his early 20’s. Leandro would head off alone from Paris, armed only with a camera and a notepad, visually scouring France, Spain, and beyond for the best scenic locations, which helped enormously to guide his knowledge and taste for seeking out perfect light, for finding the beautiful and the unique in both nature and in civilization. It didn’t take long for Leandro’s keen eye and filmic sensibilities to catapult him into the director’s chair, and in his 20’s Leandro began his career as a professional Director of Commercials in Paris. By 28, Leandro moved across the Atlantic to find his intellectual mate: New York City, where all cultures collide and meld in modern balance.
In Manhattan, Leandro spent his free time photographing and painting when he wasn’t directing commercials on locations around the globe. Leandro was introduced to his visual spiritual mate when his wife (then his girlfriend) showed Leandro the splendor of the vast North American deserts on his birthday in 2000 while on a trip to California – even though Leandro didn’t turn his professional aim fully toward photography for another 10 years, Leandro had met one of his strongest visual muses in the stark beauty of the West’s deserts, and he couldn’t help but aim his lens on the vast canvas of nature there. Also along this visual trail, Leandro turned his aim toward painting, and his indigenous-inspired murals earned gallery exhibitions in NYC (TriBeCa and elsewhere in Manhattan), plus a duo show in the Miami design district participating at the Basel Art Fair in the 2005. Now Leandro’s gallery showings in New York and London are featuring his unique visual photographic works (T.O.A.S.T in NYC, London’s St.Bride Foundation Bridewell Theater). His photography continues to gain accolades as Leandro’s work is featured not only in galleries but also in print, digital magazines, photography sites, art critics’ picks and most recently the photo essay magazine LIFE Force UK, which only grabs monthly some of the top photo essays and photojournalism made around the globe.
Leandro was chosen in July 2011 to participate with his photo essay of RAMONA GARDENS, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the globe. Leandro’s visual photo reportage grasped the very core of the off-limits gang culture. Whether Leandro’s photographic series are portraying stark nature, social portraits, mythical creatures, cityscapes or enigmatic light/strobe painting, Leandro’s visual complexity and diverse background are stunningly apparent – his rich cultural mesh continues to influence his art expansively, in his fight to show how when all forces unite, the certain result becomes pure beauty.