The artist uses in his paintings a technique that dates back to ancient Greco-Roman times, fresco painting has been present in Lleó’s work from an early age. He was exposed to them in Romanesque and Renaissance works found in so many churches and museums throughout Europe. He quickly saw the potential this had when taken into a new context within contemporary art, modernizing an age-old technique and one that has been long forgotten. A highly complicated form, fresco painting requires precision in a finite timeframe and is very difficult to master. It is the immediateness and the lack of room for error that draws Lleó to implementing this style, unique to his work.
Second Changers Tool, 2001- 2003
Lluís Lleó (pronounced Luis Yay-oh) was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1961 to a family of painters. His artistic practice follows a generation of artists, from his great-grandfather Joan as a decorative painter of ceilings, to his grandfather Lluís, a watercolorist who designed advertisements and posters, right down to his father Joan a painter in his own right and art professor. From a very early age, Lleó was immersed in the culture of painting. His exposure to art was through art museums and rural churches in Catalunya, where he first encountered medieval frescos. It was the Romanesque architecture of Europe that intrigued the young artist and inspired him to develop his artistry based on this traditional technique.
Lleó never had formal academic training as an artist; rather he was born into it. He’s a fourth-generation painter who studies, as noted by Robert Hughes resemble “an intense traditional apprenticeship”. Cleaning brushes, priming canvas, watching his grandfather and father work in their studios, and taking from his conversations with them on the subject. They had taught him already everything he needed to know to become an artist.