FRANK LEÓN

Homo Visual Sapiens

By Frank León

Nothing is more representative in a “visual” artist than his own visual image. The ability to “re-present himself”, mold and mutate is also the impossibility of his own representation, which is simultaneously his faking.

In current art (which is not what is known as contemporary art, but all the art produced “today”) there is an odd-looking creature, a biped animal that could be called Homo Visual Sapiens. This walking, mutating and almost liquid being is what re-presents the trend known as contemporary art.

No stage of development in art has ever been led by a non-existent movement as avant garde. But neither had art been assassinated previously as did Arthur Danto, although the criminal evidence still has to determine whether the action was a murder or the sad suicide of the trans vanguard or conceptual art. What indeed is evident is that the Homo Visual Sapiens is the survivor of the holocaust of the word art, and that museums are the graveyards where the remains of the victims are conserved. In the near future the living beings will have to find the corpses or fossils of the art from our days that was never regarded as contemporary art by the Homo Visual Sapiens legitimatizers.

I have been “creating” for about 40 years within the society of entertainment, which is the present society, wisely defined by Guy Debord. I have been experimenting unexplored languages and have used all my abilities (as eclectic as my own life) to enjoy the daily pleasure of transmitting my inner world in images, sounds, and ideas. I am happy to be fully non-dependent of the commercialization of the product of my inner life, and for this reason I consider myself a free man. I was also lucky to be able to set the bases of my own freedom, including the freedom of totally lacking a style. I am not tied to anything in my creative work because, as Nazoa, I believe in love and art as channels toward the enjoyment of a lasting life. In my work I mercilessly employ all the instruments within my reach, which I also study and try to master.

My recent work consists of four well-defined series with some subseries in between. I use photography, digital programs, traditional (and not so traditional) materials, the usual supports and other virtual ones. I mix all this at the moment of creating or use it in layers, as steps until reaching the final outcome. My process normally starts with an idea, although sometimes I make experiments with automatism, creating on the black or white space offered by digital support. What moves my ideas is an emotional or mental state resulting from the vital experience or from my own intellectual learning process. I use music as therapy and also as another means of liberating my neurons by composing with digital programs.

If the course of life, in addition to survival, consists of leaving behind one’s glance beyond the loving dust that we are, then my work along this path has consisted in approaching my environment with a peripheral glance, thus obtaining a visceral observation of the near encounters with my vital, cosmological reality deprived of all extra-artistic interest. I am not worried about my re-presentation, but about my center-to-center relation with the environment. I do not establish convenient relations for what they may give me in return. The art of the opportunities of becoming a renowned artist conveys a dose of social hypocrisy that is incompatible with my form of life, and therefore I feel distant from the concept of Homo Visual Sapiens and prefer to be called simply Homo Sapiens with some conceptual-creative abilities.

Artist website