Leslie Pyo

oil and wax on panel
16 x 20 in.


artist statement

I am in love with the pressure of color. Every day, things press up against us and in our field of vision. Another person’s logic or aura presses against ours as we interact, a previous association presses against a new one, the smell of a soft breeze presses against the moody greenish tinge of the sky.

Let me give an example to illustrate my thinking on color relationships: Say you encounter a beautiful song. Say that Green best expresses this impression. While you are listening to that song, it starts to rain hard and you see the trees thrashing around outside. Let’s call this thrashing visual impression Blue. Now you have Green next Blue at the same moment. The fact that these colors are next to each other changes the way both of them look, and thus in that moment, though inherently the same colors, green and blue exist only in relation to each other, because they both exist in your field of perception.

I use thick blocks of color pressing against one another, with childlike figurative elements, to express and comment on these pressing moments or atmospheres. Linguistics and phonetics also inform my process. Often I am thinking about the cadence of a sentence with areas of color as they are read. When you read a sentence, you need only read each word once to move on permanently to the next, and at the end of this process you have read a sentence. Color logic, however, bounces and weaves and impresses all at once, rather than flowing from left to right. This is more true to the way we experience and this is the logic that I explore.

The viewer may not arrive at a linear narrative, but rather at a sort of emotional echo. This emotional echo resonates an element of the human experience that we all share, which can be individualized according to each viewer’s perception. 

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