photo by Bob Rink
Performance/Sound/Installation by Leandro Soto
Sound track by Francisco Flores.
Inspired by a trip to Rome and Pompei, Leandro Soto creates a visual and sound environment using human figure drawings, paintings, paper drops, collages, newspapers from Rome, Naples, and Caserta that reflect today´s political reality in Italy as well as in the USA. In looking to America from Europe the artist questions the ideas of imperialism, freedom and beauty using pieces done with recycled and scrap materials.
Within a circle at the center of the gallery, the artist draws with ink in paper, images of Rome, which he sells to the audience for a donation. The artist changes his costume back and forth from a distinguished academic to a drawing street artist in front of the audience.. This piece honors ¨Arte Povera¨, -one of the most influential movements of Italian art in the 20th century-, and the resonance of this art movement in today´s American society: the cuts in arts and education funds will not hamper creativity and the resolve of artist´s spirit to continue its quest for meaning.
Author Nova Hall wrote about Leandro's exhibit:" During his trip to Rome, Soto was blessed to see the history and grandeur of Rome in its people as they admired and celebrated the rise of President Obama. A city of great wonders and ancient masterpieces, Rome was built on the backs of slaves and war. Perhaps because of this heritage, Rome viewed the change in American politics through uniquely rose hued glass. Soto has thus captured and blended the hope and understanding with which America is viewed within the context of Italy's spectacular architecture and past".
Images of the premiere at Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance Gallery, Arizona State University. Phoenix, Arizona. The artist with the audience participation.