Leonard Sexton

Broken Halos Collection

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Note on Exhibition

This show has a working title “Broken Halo”. This body of work drew heavily on the influences of Leonardo and Goya. The paintings again try and map the struggle of existence. The mother and child, with us since the beginning of painting, is a wonderful starting point as its relevance never fades. A struggle in Western society, a possible catastrophe everywhere else it merits close examination.

(ref. Leonardo iconic monumental use of mother and child and their spirituality, his composition makes a cathedral out of everything)

(ref. Goya’s darkness speaks volumes, his passion out of the darkness, men and women beautifully shouting out their disgruntlement)

Where can I see the collection?

2009-2014 Courtesy of their patron they are housed at UCD Smurfit business college, Blackrock, Dublin
2009 Menier Gallery, London
2008 Office of Public Works, Dublin, Ireland
2008 Blue Leaf Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Artist Statement

I can only find the true mastery and beauty in what I see, through destruction. It is only then that I gain some empathy with the subject. The only way to find something’s true beauty, is, to all intensive purposes, tear it apart. The image will always stay there, irrespective, begging you to understand and sympathise. I’m clear that nothing is clear. To live and breathe through this complexity one can show a lot.

Leonard Sexton: Note on Painting

Contradictions in art, implied meanings.
My reaction to everything in my life has become my art.
My paintings seem to revolve around quieter, self absorbed moments.
I find them more telling than using art as a flag flying sport.
Searching for topics to comment on is a no no for me.
What I try to get out of figurative painting is some form of personal emotional complexity.
The one that is experience and lived through every day.
No psychological profile.
Life in constant flux? Awakening consciousness?
I see myself as an emotional reactionary often unhappy with abstraction and reality and most things in between.
When one believes in the power of painting one must remain positive.
Many people have nothing but hope that may never be realised.
That’s reality.
If any of these soundings stain or burn through the surface I will be getting all that I require from my art.

A baby cries, my starting point can never be Why.
I am obsessed with the physicality of that experience.
The reasons are always secondary to the happening for me.
Life is happening all the time. I think rationalising comes later.
I want to show all the meat of life, present what I see as a highly complex raw material and hope it will become self explanatory.

I like to think my work is mapping some area of social order or disorder, but am reluctant to over orchestrate their implied meaning.
I want to protect or guard individual emotional complexity.
When I tear everything apart it’s only to see it more clearly on some emotional and visual level, not to rationalise or weaken its fundamental right to happen or exist first.

Portrayal through understanding is the job of the artist, understanding through portrayal is the job of the viewer.
I believe this particular argument can go on indefinitely, but to be honest I think if the viewer understands or is facilitated in all these areas already he will have no need for my paintings. So to avoid journalistic type responses I lurk in hard to fathom, tiny emotional spaces. The awakening consciousnesses is constantly awakening……