I had a weekend of gallery hopping - it was fantastic to see so many new up-and-coming artists and so many busy galleries! One of the exhibitions was the work of Leonardo Cremonese at the Iain Dawson Gallery in Paddington. I went on the recommendation of real living style director Jason Grant, who went to the opening night and said the artist was definitely one to watch. I agree. Leonardo, who was born in Brazil but moved to Australia with his family more than 20 years ago, was awarded a four-year scholarship in 2000 with the Tim Olsen Gallery to study Historical Oil Painting Techniques and Drawing Practice with the artist Charlie Sheard.
Which five words best describe you? Happy, sad, loyal, driven, slightly demented.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Breakfast cook (I got very good at omelettes). I’ve always managed to avoid jobs that tied me down so I could pursue my passion for painting, surfing and living. I currently split my time between painting and teaching surfing.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I’ve created some paintings that I’m particularly happy with – a few are in my current show at Iain Dawson Gallery in Paddington, Sydney, and a couple more will be shown at Tin Sheds Gallery this November.
What’s been your best decision? To study proper painting techniques with my mentor and fellow artist, Charlie Sheard.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? I’d been striving to disassociate myself from material things for a while when I became interested in the Dionysian religion of Ancient Greece. According to their beliefs, we all embody a life/creative force which, when exited intensely, can overflow into a frenzy of erotic madness called mainomenos Dionysos (mad Dionysos). This was my focus.
Who inspires you? The Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso, Titian, Boccacio, Roberto Freire (a Brazilian writer and anarchist), and Casanova who was someone who alternated between success and big mistakes, but always lived his life to the full and never held back.
What are you passionate about? Painting.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? How to stall for the barrel. Translation: slowing your board down so you can get in the curl of a wave.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’ve been lucky to meet her already. My wife, Libby.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are so many but one would be meeting a shaman and hopefully learning a few things from him/her so that I could bring painting closer to where it started off tens of thousands years ago.
What are you reading? An anthology of 20th century Brazilian poetry and The New Yorker magazine which drives me nuts but is strangely addictive.
images iain dawson gallery and leonardo cremonese