LEONARDO CHRISTIAN ANKER AMADEUS VANDAL
Vandal is a multidisciplinary artist who works accross different mediums, often integrating performance and texts into his installations. In 2017 he wrote a novel in form of letters to his installation – Ode to a Nightingale. The book is titled: Letters of Misfortune.
Vandal’s work is heavily influenced by traumatic psychological events from his childhood,
Vandal’s artwork is renowned for its highly personal thematic content involving the unconscious, These themes draw on events in his childhood for which he considered making art a therapeutic or cathartic process. The work has a sociological and psychological approach investigating the mind inspired by mental illness and minorities.
Vandal transformes his experiences into a highly personal visual language through the use of every medium he found relavant within his reach, often refered to as formal work, it has romantic nostalgic and melancolic approch. The colors are often dark, beige as his rusty birdcages with letters on handmade paper.
Through the use of abstract form and a wide variety of media, Vandal dealt with notions of universal balance, in which is always dispalyed with a contrast and a dialogue between opposites as in magnets, wheather it is in his writing or physical works - ” To feel the sensation of soft rock”;
Or seen in his hammock like sculptures in which a hollow iron sphere is held up by natural silk -”As plunging into tears of his ancestors”, in which the hollow iron sphere capsulates the darkness, in fact protecting it from the acid it was exposed to, the poetry of the life of the butterflies and its product embrace the weight of darkness.
Vandal’s repertoire of imagery is wide ranging, to provoke an emotional and psychological effect on the viewer. Many of these make direct references to aspects of his own past,
Vandal is drawn to various and often unusual media for their symbolic potency. Natural materials such as reeds, earth, and tree roots reference both time and patterns of life, death, and decay. Both near his childhood home and the family he grew up with later in life he was surrounded by nature and water and the reeds became his favorite plant. His mother lives near a Bog in the outskirts of copenhagen where the reeds grows wild, in which Vandal found his idea about his most extensive performance and philosophy – ”Inchoherent notes”. Lead and iron also has resonance for the artist both as a medium and a subject matter.
He explains himself by saying that he is an autumn sonata and his color is fall. Vandal sees every human as an instrument in a symphony, in which we all are our own cadenza, which to him is the most lonely thing in the world, that even though everyone is looking approbatory and enamoured at the “cadenza” – the soloist… He stands by himself in the secret garden with no one to play with. We are all a cadenza in our own play.
Vandal studied briefly basic tayloring and philosophy, he left home at 16 years old to live by himself, and the first obvious and availble beauty he found was costumes and fashion, it was immediate escape for the ugliness that possessed him and his memory, and a mean to express the immediate story he knew at the time. When he was 19 years old he created costumes for the Danish Royal Ballet for a contemporary ballet, still to this day the craftmanship is visible in his work, with his stitched canvases or pentagrams for music.
He is currently living and working at the artist residency Palazzo Monti in Brescia, Italy. He has been working and living at Palazzo Monti since May 2017 and has in his time presented a solo show in in July and latest a performance “Coyote” at Biennale di Venezia
The work of Leonardo Anker Vandal has a clear dialogue with the past, and often refers to childhood memories.
The overall concept and title of Leonardo Vandal’s work, Negative Capability, is initially a term to describe beauty as a perception, experienced through the emotions and senses and being comfortable with uncertainty.
“Ever since Leonardo Vandal remembers, his favourite planet has always been Saturn, the planet of melancholy. Fascinated by the planet’s peripheral rings, its mystery and the music associated to it, the artist has been spellbound, captivated and somewhat enamoured by its wonder, without explanation – this is maybe his first encounter with “negative capability”.
Leonardo Vandal first read Jane Campion’s interpretation of the term, what it indicated, which summed up what he could not put into words: “A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.”