We had the good fortune of connecting with Leonor Anthony and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leonor, what are you inspired by?
At the beginning of my career I was inspired by religious themes and works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. I loved to reinterpret these masterpieces in a more conceptual and modern way and make them my own. Now I look back at my earlier works as if they were done by someone else, it was just my younger self. For the last ten years my deepest inspirations have come from the human condition, mainly social and environmental issues, and the reason I became an artivist – I use art as a vehicle of activism. Being born in Cuba and becoming a political refugee at the tender age of five led me to a life of migration and hyphenation. This life , even though rootless and unstable, provided a common thread and a series of experiences not unlike those who are persecuted and oppressed. So they became my greatest inspiration. It was the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 that fully led me to undertake this path. In Robert Frost’s beautiful poem the Road Not Taken I found the perfect words to describe what it has been like for me to fully commit and live through my work as an artivist: I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. I am inspired by love and the promise of a better world for us all, regardless of what color the skin we wear is, what god if any we worship and what lies underneath our clothes. Leonor Anthony
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am recognized for using art as a vehicle of activism. I love to explore limitless styles, materials and disciplines. I love to find new ways to incorporate materials, thoughts ,elements and music into all my creations,. Im always trying to learn new disciplines and finds new ways to tell my story and message, with the aim of raising awareness to issues ranging from immigration ,mass incarceration, race relations, women’s empowerment, and environmental preservation, I am most proud of my book Sounds of Freedom, which took me two entire years to create – The book is my soul and everything I believe in. I have gotten where I am today by sheer force of will, persistence and a clear vision of what I want to accomplish – never letting anyone or any obstacle stand in the way of my dreams. And I dream very big. It has been extremely difficult both physically and mentally. I take one challenge at a time , never letting myself feel defeated. Like a small drop of water falling continuously on the same spot and finally creating a hole on a rock – I persist , always. The most important lessons along the way is to take care of my body and of my peace of mind in order to continue my journey and to never give up. Never. I want the world to know that I truly care and that everything I create comes from my soul. I want the world to know that I strive to always be authentically me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Without a doubt or hesitation I would bring ANY visitor to Miami to Wynwood. And would keep them coming back almost every day, never seeing the same thing twice. I would show them all the unique restaurants and shops , and most importantly – the people behind the scenes. For the last three months ( Covid 19 Pandemic ) I have walked and documented my beautiful neighborhood every day and have been fortunate to have had it all to myself, without tourists , too many people and noise. When all was quiet , I found the real beauty, not only through all the murals, words and colors but the amazing people that make Wynwood the most unique and colorful place on earth.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mikel Delagrange, Ariana Anthony, Alexandra Anthony Andrea Jo ( my amazing first intern/assistant ) Dr. Carol Damian , Carole Ann Taylor, Jason Flom The Innocence Project , Dallas for Change , Equal Justice initiative
Instagram: @LeonorAnthony Artist https://www.instagram.com/leonoranthonyartist/?hl=en