“The focus of the paintings tends to be where the body and the surface connects. If I had to identify a central theme in my work, I think it would be about human beings and their relationship to the environment.”
(American, b. 1960)
Anne Leone was born in Los Angeles in 1960 and currently lives and works on the East Coast, splitting her time between Brooklyn, NY and Massachusetts. She has been painting the mesmerizing subject of bodies underwater for 25 years. Leone’s paintings are based on photographs that she takes of her family swimming in the Cenotes in Mexico during their annual trip. These natural limestone caves near Tulum are filled with crystal clear fresh water, which makes them an ideal place to observe the figure weightless and underwater. Leone paints with meticulous attention to detail which results in stunning realism, depicting both the human form and the organic nature of water.
Coruscating sunlight pierces through the cool, dark water, patterning every form dramatically. The surface becomes a stunningly patterned plane that reverberates with every movement and reflects the figures below. The solid forms of the figures visually disintegrate and warp into broken and abstract shapes on the surface, providing a delightful and challenging perception of space that includes the worlds above and below. Originally, Leone turned to the motif of water as a metaphor for life, purity and birth, and over time, the paintings changed and adapted to explore themes of independence, vulnerability, and emotional states of mind, often reflecting transitions in her own life.
Leone has won numerous awards for her work, and has been granted several fellowships. Her work has been featured in several museums, including, the Newport Art Museum, the New Bedford Art Museum, and the Georgetown University Museum.