Date(s) - October 14, 2015
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Organ Recital Hall, University Center for the Arts

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Macho Ritual and the Performance of Masculinity

Shaun Leonardo probes conventions of portraiture to reveal complexities of masculinity and manhood. Through physically demanding performances, as well as cutout paintings, drawings, and sculpture, Leonardo negotiates ideals of worth, achievement, and the experience of failure. Leonardo’s work Bull in the Ring, 2008, is featured in the exhibition Scrimmage. The work derives from Leonardo’s collegiate football career at Bowdoin College in which he re-enacts a drill, since banned, in order to investigate themes of extreme masculinity.

Shaun Leonardo’s multidisciplinary work negotiates societal expectations of manhood, namely definitions surrounding black and brown masculinities, along with its notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. His performance practice is participatory in nature and invested in a process of embodiment, promoting the political potential of attention and discomfort as a means to disrupt meaning and shift perspective.

Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens, New York City. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and is a current Smack Mellon artist-in-residence, as well as a recipient of support from Creative Capital and Guggenheim Social Practice. His work has been presented in galleries and institutions, nationally and internationally, and recently featured at The Guggenheim Museum, the High Line, Recess, and VOLTA NY.