Leon's art tries to evoke a sense of inquisitiveness and question the basis of everyday activities in the minds of the viewers. He draws inspiration for his art from contemporary issues and local and happening events, the prevalent culture etc. like for example the issues related to environmental concerns. His artwork always portrays the difference between the good and the bad or the beautiful versus the ugly.
Since 2007 Leon has worked in collaboration with other artists and perfected his skill at 3d street painting art. Besides he is also a director of the dutch group Planet Streetpainting which is a collaborative group of artists who design 3d street paintings around the world and also hold the record for the largest 3d street art. Checkout the video showing the process of creation of a 3d street painting at the end of the post. Leon was good enough to take time out and do an interview with us. Read on to discover Leon's take on art:
Hello Leon. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Leon Keer. With my artwork I try to stir up emotions on every corner of the earth.
What was the inspiration behind you turning into an artist? Was art a passion for you since your younger days?
I love creating art to enlarge a kind of memory. I learned to paint through designing and producing large advertising murals for multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Heineken, Red Bull, Reef, Evian, Royal Club and Absolut Vodka.
Tell us something about the different styles of painting that you do.
I like to experiment with all kind of materials and techniques. To keep me awake and alive this is an ongoing process. I work with a mixture of techniques, use a rich variety of materials, ranging from professional acrylic paints to adhesives, solvents, primers and tar. With that, everything could be the canvas.
What are the sources of inspiration for your paintings?
I review current issues, such as environmental concerns and the livability of this world. I observe great impotence and with that a certain degree of indifference from the individual. I am constantly aware of the beautiful versus the ugly, a contrast that I express and amplify in my work and which I use as a metaphor for lives. My art reflects my thoughts, confronting the viewer with the diseased spirit of our times, visible decay counter-pointing a timeless longing for unspoiled beauty
What other artists do you look up to?
Every person who is living his life as if it is his last day on earth.
Tell us about your association with Planet Streetpainting? How did you get started with 3D street painting?
Performing as a street painter lets me share the joy of painting with the public. Chalking directly on the streets started in 2007 when I was invited to participate an international street painting event in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A good learning lane next to some of the most experienced street painters at that time. Another road of experimenting was born. As well as an individual street painter as being part of the Dutch group of Planet Streetpainting, I am responsible for several contemporary street paintings in the Netherlands and even more often abroad. From 2D religious pieces into the making of the largest 3D streetpainting of the world.
‘Every street art piece is unique and belongs to the street and its residents’.
‘Streetpainting is all about working together. Together with other artists you are able to create streetscapes as far as the eye can see’. Planet Streetpainting is an enthusiastic group of artists who will bring there own quality of making art in every project. The synergy created by working together will surprise not only the eye of the beholder but also yourself.
I was curious to know the methodology that you adopt to create 3D street art. Apart from the art, tell us about the technicalities involved in it.
You can use several techniques when making 3d art.
Before the creations on the street I had already made a lot of Trompe l’oeil murals. For 3d street painting you will have to use other perspective drawing methods but illusionary wise it is quite the same.
The first thing you will have to figure out, is how to make a drawing that appeals to the public and will look for real when it is finished. Mark your vanishing point on the street, distort and scale the drawing and paint your colours, highlights and shadows. For clarity you can use a grid and string.
Let us have a series of rapid fire questions.
Are you a tea or coffee guy?
I like the smell of Coffee but I would rather prefer to drink Tea
Activities you enjoy?
Snowboarding, cooking, cold beer at a sunny afternoon.
Eternal sunshine on a spotless mind
What are your future plans as far as creating art is concerned?
I would like to convey a message in every artwork I create, not by means of the pointing finger but a message that leads to questioning life in all facets.
What advice would you like to give to budding artists?
Enjoy, and stay with both feet on the ground, listen to the smaller stories, to see the bigger picture.
Thank you Leon for taking the time for this wonderful interview, We love your artwork and wish you the very nest for the future.
For more information visit:
Leon Keer's Website