556 State St, Hudson, NY
The artist, Leonardo Sideri … born April 10, 1938 Mount Vernon, NY… lives in Hudson, NY. Since 1998. Leonardo, Lenny, Len, Sideri, as he’s known to most...(preferably not Leo), is not easy to define.
He considers himself a design dabbler, a builder. He has many hands-on building skills and interests. Prior to Hudson Len lived in NYC for 30 years. He’s worked corporately for well-known architectural firms as an Interior Designer both in NYC and San Francisco. He did apartment renovations in NYC, design engineered and built industrial components for artists. He also holds 2 patents for products he invented.
Len has a degree in Industrial Design and is a self-taught architect, interior designer, artist. He casually refers to himself as a designer, who doesn’t put limits on what he’ll design. His unique analogue drafting skills are evident in his work.
This show is in his house. He refers to his long renovation as … Installation Art. Being the client, he experimented … “I changed the DNA of this modest working-class structure”.
HIS ART/ DESIGN
The art is something he evolved. He was done renovating houses by himself. He needed to turn his creative energies into something manageable … the two-dimensional world called, although he’s recently designed a series of small playful tables … “The Cute Tables” … they’re in the show.
A friend left him a collection of antlers. As a designer he saw them as beautiful. He turned them into decorative accessories. A grouping is on a teak dining table he designed many years ago.
His 2-dimensional work is a unique medium … pencil on paper. The ground, good quality drawing paper custom laminated to gator board, providing a hard surface to draw on with pencil.
He draws on a wall with an eight-foot straight edge he engineered, along with custom designed triangles. He eliminated the glass that usually protects paper drawings, the part that makes large pieces heavy and fragile. Most of the work is HB pencil on paper and protected with matte varnish, very light weight. He uses a variety of finishes; paper, wood, metallic foil’s gold leaf, air brush, acrylics, pastel and spray paint and continues to experiment. At 81, he considers himself a beginner.
There’s an “X” theme running through his work that came to him many years ago. Perhaps the X is a result of his metaphysical Theosophical interests in symbols and icons. He lived as an artist but never considered himself an artist … “Now I just do images as they come to me”. The X became an icon he continually plays with, representing common MAN. The illiterate sign with an X … “we are all X’s”.
Len adopted the X as a form of self-identity ... “Sideri, he’s the guy that does the X’s”. It’s an endless playful theme to build on. He personally likes his simplest drawing known as … Man Alone … a reflection of the social consequences of modern life and loneliness in its simplest etherial form.
With a name like Leonardo, he decided he had to do something related to Leonardo DaVinci. He did an X theme of the Last Supper, not so much as a parody but an expression of equality amongst men.
Sideri is exhibiting in his own gallery and expects to feature other artists and designers or anything that’s unconventional for future shows. A very large French mirror hangs in the hall so visitors can view themselves as part of the show. The gallery small and residential provides an intimate art experience.
© 2019 Leonardo Sideri