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O V E R T U R E

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LEONARDO CHRISTIAN ANKER AMADEUS VANDAL WAS BORN IN 1988 IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK. VANDAL IS A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST WITH PROLIFIC WORKS AND IS KNOWN TO WORK ACCROSS DIFFERENT MEDIUMS, OFTEN INTEGRATING PERFORMANCE AND TEXTS INTO HIS INSTALLATIONS. IN HIS OWN WORDS HE EXPLAINS THAT HE WANTS TO CREATE A LANGUAGE OF HIS OWN AND HE DOES THROUGH THE MEDIUMS THAT SEEM MOST FITTING TO TELL THE STORY AS PRECISELY AS POSSIBLE,. EVERY WORK SHOULD BE SEEN AS A STAR AND COLLECTIVELY THEY CREATE A CONSTELLATION, COMPARATIVE TO THE INSTRUMENTS IN AN ORCHESTRA CREATING A SYMPHONY.

IN 2017 HE MADE THE INSTALLATION - ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE - IN THE FORM OF LETTERS, LATER MADE INTO A NOVEL. THE BOOK IS TITLED: LETTERS OF MISFORTUNE. VANDAL FINISHED A DELUSIONAL YET HONEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN 2018, WRITTEN IN DIARISTIC FORM INCLUDING MUSIC SHEETS AS AN ODE TO THE CLASSICAL. AN EXPLAINATION OF HIS PHILOSOPHY ON THOUGHTS AND REPRESSED MEMORIES – INCOHERENT NOTES.

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 CATHARTIC PROCESS. THE WORK HAS A SOCIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH INVESTIGATING THE MIND INSPIRED BY MENTAL ILLNESS AND MINORITIES.

VANDAL TRANSFORMS HIS EXPERIENCES INTO A HIGHLY PERSONAL VISUAL LANGUAGE THROUGH THE USE OF ALL MEDIUMS HE FOUND RELEVANT, HE HAS A ROMANTIC, NOSTALGIC AND MELANCOLIC APPROACH. THE COLORS ARE OFTEN DARK, BEIGE AS A RUSTY BIRDCAGE AND LETTERS ON HANDMADE PAPER.

THROUGH THE USE OF ABSTRACT FORMS AND A WIDE VARIETY OF MEDIA, VANDAL DEALT WITH NOTIONS OF UNIVERSAL BALANCE, DISPLAYED THROUGH THE CONTRAST AND DIALOGUE BETWEEN OPPOSITES AS IN MAGNETS.

”TO FEEL THE SENSATION OF A SOFT ROCK”.

IN HIS HAMMOCK LIKE SCULPTURES IN WHICH A HOLLOW IRON SPHERE IS HELD UP BY NATURAL SILK -”AS PLUNGING INTO TEARS OF HIS ANCESTORS”, THE SPHERE INCAPSULATES THE DARKNESS, IN FACT PROTECTING IT FROM THE ACID IT WAS EXPOSED TO, THE POETRY OF THE LIFE OF THE BUTTERFLY 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 IN A SIMILAR WAY OF GUSTAV MAHLER’S SYMPHONIES. BOTH NEAR HIS CHILDHOOD HOME AND THE FAMILY HE GREW UP WITH LATER 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 GROW WILD, HERE VANDAL DISCOVERED HIS MOST EXTENSIVE PHILOSOPHY – ”INCHOHERENT NOTES”. LEAD AND IRON ALSO HAVE RESONANCE FOR THE ARTIST BOTH AS MEDIUMS AND SUBJECT MATTER.

HE EXPLAINS HIMSELF 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 AN IMMEDIATE ESCAPE FOR THE UGLINESS THAT POSSESSED HIM AND HIS MEMORIES, AND A MEANS 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 PALAZZO MONTI IN BRESCIA, ITALY. HE HAS BEEN WORKING AND LIVING THERE SINCE MAY 2017 AND DURING THAT TIME HAS HAD A SOLO SHOW AND PERFORMED “COYOTE” AT THE BIENNALE DI VENEZIA.

THE WORK OF LEONARDO ANKER VANDAL HAS A CLEAR DIALOGUE WITH THE PAST.

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 THROUGH 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,

“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.”