Seizing Sanctimonium


Leonard Greco



Artist Statement

My love of mythic narrative, particularly narratives that focus upon universal themes of creation, sacrifice, redemption and enlightenment (gnosis), inspires my work. Although indebted to the western canon and frequently finding inspiration within the richness of its traditions, I have fallen under the spell of the Popol Vuh, the creation myth of the Maya people. Utilizing this ancient body of work I am able to explore universal themes without the influence of recognizable western archetypes. Through exploration I may examine a culture, that though foreign from my western perspective, provides endless fascination and possibility.

This fascination with Meso-american art and culture however is not translated in a mock-Latino idiom. Given my western heritage I would consider that not only disrespectful but inauthentic. Inspired by the words of José Clemente Orozco I resist “looting indigenous remains…however picturesque and interesting they may be”. Instead of drawing upon the obvious source, I instead draw upon my own experiences and passions. This includes a love of world mythology, Roman Catholic saints, the Italian Renaissance, classical painters such as Nicholas Poussin, low brow erotica, Symbolism, Surrealism (particularly Leonora Carrington), miscellaneous mystical traditions such as Gnosticism and my own, often disturbing, fertile dreamscape.

By fusing such diverse elements it is my intention to create an authentic vocabulary in which to express universal and yet deeply personal concerns ; be they Life and Death, mortality, morality, and most importantly, inner knowledge, gnosis.