Self-taught French painter born in 1971.
Elka LEONARD's work pays homage to femininity. It makes the universe, the empire of a woman, the woman, women, the Creator, the one who gives life not only through birth but also through thought. Through each piece of work, Elka delivers her own vision of the world, myths, and history. She reinterprets signs and codes to unveil her feminism.
Thus, her Women pave the way for free will, like Eve who performed the first act of freedom by picking the apple and curiously seeking knowledge. For Elka, this act is mainly an opportunity to become aware of oneself, to unfold one's self. If there is a fall from paradise, there is above all a metamorphosis, by entering into history and into novelty.
Her work is intended as a huge ode to all the women who came before: "You girls, I will never forget you." An ode to all the women who have paved the way for us, made the path easier, and left us signs of their burning desire to transcribe what they possessed in their inner faith to the outside world.
Her latest series takes up Melinda Gates' injunction: "Women must leave the margins and take their place, not above or below men, but alongside them, at the center of society."
She portrays a feminism focused on her view of couple life: each of the two sexes should be able to admire each other, know that they can rely on each other's shoulder, and together, look in the same direction. In Elka Leonard's work, man and woman are equal and complementary.
Her painting takes shape through a multitude of protagonists who move in universes with multiple points of escape. The decor is adorned with uninhabitable buildings and mirrors that reinforce the opposition between the finite and the infinite, and reflect our sense of estrangement from the current world. An eye, both protective and internal, observes the scene and wanders in the unconscious of the world around it.
Elka dialogue with the overlapping epochs: the supernatural rubs shoulders with the everyday and the mythical intrudes in the modern, the world then appears as a museum where to draw a new harmony. His work goes beyond the logic of realism, formalises the intangible of dreams, and connects the past and the present. With anecdotes and references, she wants the viewer to build his story from his mosaic of information. It uses references to history, advertising, art and hijacks them, parody them.
His works thus have an air of cinematic painting.
Happiness is freedom, independence, and having decision-making power over your body.
The exhibition on his new series «Free ?» proposes an aesthetic reflection around the notion of freedom. How free are we?
Through strong and easily identifiable symbols, Elka LEONARD depicts free women, whose choices are contingent, determined by their will alone. Women, with a critical mind, responsible for their actions, who detach themselves from societal injunctions.
These women question the spectator about the domination exercised by the pixels of the screens, by the dictatorship of the digital. Both poison and antidote. In an unbridled quest for enjoyment at all costs, the leitmotif of our society, Elka criticizes this lark mirror. The artist reminds us that the «know yourself» of Socrates is essential and must guide us in our actions. The inner self must find its place between the social self and the individual self, while being wary of the narcissism of the screens that await…
His Women invite the spectator to wake up, not to remain lulled by the jingles of the end of the world, lulled by the fatalisms of ecological impotence and financial and human disasters. They interpose, unfold, awaken a dance of resistance, invent another world.