Leonard Maiden specializes in images of the rural south using a mixture of acrylic and oil painted on board and/or canvas. Maiden was born in Greenville Mississippi in 1972and from an early age Maiden showed a remarkable talent for drawing. At 12 Maiden would go to the community library after school where he would study anatomy books, Leonardo Di Vinci anatomical drawings, and comic books.
With no money to attend college Maiden joined the Marine and in 1995, after being honorably discharged, and returned to Shreveport, Louisiana. While attending community college majoring in drafting, Maiden found his calling when he took a drawing class. Maiden would change his major to Fine Art Studio and enroll at Louisiana Tech University School of art concentrating on oil painting. He spent a one semester studying abroad in Paris, France before Graduating with a B.F.A. in studio art in 2005.
As an artist Maiden is inspired by the aesthetic value of folk art and the allure of figurative painting. Thus he develops a vocabulary of motifs along with a cohesive color palette. Characters, rural environments, costumes, props, and typography serve as symbols to visually encompass the virtues of the south. His paintings he whimsically characterizes family elders and venturous and courageous children, growing up in a seemingly magical and joyous place yet anchored in the context of hardship and struggle that characterized the south during Jim Crow days.
Maiden states: "I make art out of a desire to make my thoughts, ideas, dreams and memories into something tangible , something to be manipulated or magnified and to be experienced a new." Maiden is influenced by artist such as Egon Schiele, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, and Romare Bearden.
E&S Art Gallery, Inc.