Artist of the week July 2020
‘Love the idea of entertaining the public‘
Leonardo Hidalgo is one the busiest Miami based leading neo-pop artists whose work has attracted international acclaim and is collected worldwide for his fine art paintings, and memorable portraits of famous faces. Ecuadorian by birth, Hidalgo, has made the United States his home since 1990 and breathes and lives painting as a career ever since.
His artworks borrow subjects from everyday life and elevating them to “high art”. Hidalgo’s art at times confrontational and provocative, at times irreverent and witty, but definitely engaging and lively. His fascination with popular icons of mass culture is a clear distinction throughout his bold and prominently colourful paintings.
Planes of Love
Colour and Glitz
Amazingly, he doesn’t limit his mediums and is widely recognised for his eye popping vibrant colour and glitz and glamour timeless executions.
He is known for having extended the boundaries and traditional means of the printmaking techniques in producing his original 4D cubistic figures combined with the American comic culture and the Neo-Pop graphics. Pop culture and taken to a modern dimension.
He melds photography, computer graphics, paint and fabric to create his wide variety of individual art pieces. ‘I want people to enjoy and inhale art in a different way and give them the experience: by creating the visual memory of our pop culture’
Official Miami Artist
‘When I was approached to create the official artwork for the 116th birthday of the City of Miami, it was a happy moment to give back the love I feel for the city where I have spent half of my life” exclaims the artist. “Miami is a young city full of vitality, celebration, dreams, hopes, prosperity, and joy. In this painting I found my inspiration in the city’s symbol, it’s logo, and incorporated a sweet 16 crown in honor of our growing Miami, added the tropical colours, the blue of the sea, the rays of the sun, the energy, movement, and it’s pulsating multicultural spice. Miami has a colourful future and I thank the City of Miami and Downtownmiami.com for allowing me this great opportunity to give back and share through my artwork the positive energy in this grand celebration’.
He exhibited his work at Art Basel Robeco tribute to Freddy Mercury Private Event 2018 live painting.
Meet Leonardo Hidalgo
Hidalgo lived in Arizona, where he went to ASU Tempe, and then later studied at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute. Since then he has traveled around Europe, Asia and South America where he further cultivated his art skills. He began painting at a very young age after his grandmother taught him the technical aspects of drawing and painting. His main sources of inspiration are traveling, famous people who have changed the world, music, American culture, photography, history and the magic of everyday life and people.
He has been commissioned by corporate, public and private entities, including singer Marc Anthony, Alejandro Sanz, Hillary Clinton, President Martelly, Janine Howard, Enrique Iglesias, Dan Marino, Jim Caviezel and other celebrities. The Art Murals at The Convention Center of Guayaquil, The Jade Miami of Fortune International, The US Open Polo, and has been the official artist of the supercar Experience for the past four years.
Just Another Tequila Sunrise
Leonardo enjoyed very much the ‘Time of No Innocence’ edition (shown above), because he loves Picasso, American culture, comics and Neo-Pop art which is to enjoy his art.
- Tell us why you decided to become an artist? I decided to be an artist when life told me I was an artist as a kid I started drawing and painting.
- What kind of artist do you consider yourself? Universal, my art goes everywhere and this energy is shared with the world.
- Do you have any mentors or advisors? My only mentor is God and the advice I give myself learning from my mistakes.
- How is your artistic process for creating work? When I am in Miami, which the city is full of energy and the colour and its contrasts, give the inspiration to create.
- Name three visual artists you admire: Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Any Warhol.
- Have you overcome any challenges in your career? Yes, me.I am the biggest challenge.
- Has gallery representation always been your dream or working independently been more beneficial? Or both? Both. At these times we live today, artists need both. The freedom to be able to develop yourself as an artist and the gallery representation is also needed by the artist to achieve the desired credibility and recognition. Great galleries represent great artists.
- Tell us one of the weirdest or funniest moments of your career. The best day and night that I had in my life was the day I was born. I was re-born the day I painted Ronaldo in Orlando, Disney World and was selected as his portraitist -for me, one best football player of all times- and to later share the most magical moment to present the portrait with him. A dream came true.
- What advice would you give to an emerging artist? Practice your art every day. In the practice, you will find yourself and you will find your art.
- As you reflect, what has been the influencing factors in your art career? Emigration and the new artists that emerged in New York in the 80’s like Andy Warhol, Keith Herring, Jean-Michel Basquiat..
- What are you currently working on? I am busy with the new edition of my ‘Endless Summer’ collection, applying new retro ideas. Mixing the past with the contemporary of the Miami of today.
He quickly grew an online fan base when posting his work on Instagram and got noticed in the Miami Art scene, from where his offline career took off. His first exhibition was at the Hillary Clinton Star Island Private Exhibit 2008.