David C. Leonard was born in Wilmington, DE in 1962 and grew up in the Central New York village of West Eaton. Since receiving his BFA in painting from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985, he has established a solid exhibitions career.
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David says, “The primary subjects of my paintings are 21st century man’s working monuments, which represent our culture’s dedication to production and consumption. The essence of our way of life can been seen in our never ending attempt to subdue our environment. It is not my intention to either glorify or to condemn this objective, but to invite contemplation and leave judgment up to the viewer. I’m always looking for places where the man-made environment inundates the natural. I paint this in a way where subtle abstraction disassociates elements from the environment, creating an oscillating view of the natural and the fabricated.
“The paintings are meant to be ambiguous — they can be seen as an indictment of human waste and contemporary alienation, or, simultaneously, they can be understood as silent tributes to the fundamental tools of our society that we all too often ignore. One might ask why I paint these things rather than document them with photographs — I believe painting, because of its deliberateness, serves purposes that photography cannot. My paintings take a long time to produce and in this way they parallel and underscore the deliberateness with which our machinery is built into the landscape. They are a culmination rather than a moment — a ‘long look’ at our technology and legacy.”
His work is part of numerous collections including Exelon New England, Texas State University in San Morcos and The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He has participated as an Artist in Residence at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in 2016, Woodstock, NY as well as at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada in 1987. David currently lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and works in a studio in Easton, MD.