Due to her many talents and areas of knowledge, Leda Almar could be described as a renaissance artist. A fine artist that is not afraid to experience painting, drawing, and her greatest passion: sculpture.
Leda got her Bachelor’s degree in Art from Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia but she was born in Argentina where she became a Ceramist through her studies in the National School of Ceramics. In 2003 she moved with her family to the United States and had to sell her ceramics studio.
The initial years of her life in the United States were spent exploring and searching through drawing and painting until she was ready to return to her first passion: sculpture. Now, with her new-found knowledge, she was able to combine drawing and working with clay and new creations started to blossom. You can find some of these creations in the hands of art collectors around the world: Barcelona, Bogota, Miami, New York, and, of course, Buenos Aires.
“My art process moves and changes, one day it awakens sad and draws, another day is filled with energy and it sculpts, those days when it is calm it may paint or play at the wheel. Angry, sad, happy or melancholic… However I feel, the process of creation is part of my everyday life and even if I tried to wheel it towards only one technique I could never pigeonhole it. I guess you cannot change what is born through natural inspiration, you can mold it, but not change it and that’s my art, it is always moving.
I’m sharing it with you here, with its different techniques and ways, and most of all, with all its stories. Because after all, this is my way of telling a thousand stories through a canvas, a sculpture or on paper.”
Was there an important moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
Leda: Not exactly. I was surrounded by art in my childhood. My dad was a tango Singer and a theatre director. The walls in my house were dressed with paintings and my mom thought every corner of the house was an excuse to decorate with her delicate, sometimes extravagant objects. I lived with art all around me so I suppose that it began to grow within me.
What is your daily routine when working? And can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Leda: I don’t have a specific routine. Aside from my art workshops, my life doesn’t have a lot of order and neither does my creative process. Even so, I am disciplined and make sure that I work in my studio at least for a couple of hours every day. If a few days go by where I don’t go into the studio, it shows in my mood! I am always working on a project, if not with my hands, in my mind. I work on series, I think the most difficult part it is to find what is I want to say but once I have the idea even if it is not too clear yet, the work start to come out, I don’t sketch or plan too much, I’m really fast so I rather do a lot and know I will only keep what I think it is worthy, this gives me a lot of freedom on my work.
What mediums do you work in and why?
Leda: I like to think of myself as an artisan. I began as a ceramist. I allow myself to explore painting, ink drawings, charcoal, and embroidery. Although my medium varies, there is a cohesion in my work through the image. The medium is an excuse to create, create, and create some more.
What are your favorite sculptures you have made?
Leda: My series called “Stop the world, I want to get off” Is my favorite group of small full-body sculptures so far.
Can you tell me what’s the story behind your artwork called “Raku”?
Leda: Raku is a glazing technique where the fire is the key. You never have 100% control of the results because the thermic shocks from the high temperature create cracks and tones in the sculpture when the piece is transferred from the fire into cold water. There is a sense of mystery in each step in the process that is fascinating. You either fall in love with the results or you instantly hate it. I like to play with the unexpected and the accidents in my pieces.
What is your inspiration for your “Black and white hands” and “Las bestias” series of paintings?
Leda: I made these two series during the quarantine in which we are immersed, this crazy and incoherent world. “Black and White Hands” is a part of “When Color Hurts” which was born in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. This series also happens to coincide with my emersion in Raku where the play between black and white is constant. This piece is a perfect example of what I meant by letting the unexpected flow. The technique and the moment in our lives matched and I loved the results. “Las Bestias” is a series of digital art in which I play with my mixed emotions during this lockdown. My portraits always have a hint of autobiography in the narrative. My characters show attitudes that generally match up with how I am feeling at the moment. To me, creating these images is like going to a psychologist and letting everything out.
Your art is in the hands of the collectors, from Barcelona to Buenos Aires. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Leda: The most impactful response was just a couple of months ago from a person interested in one of my “When Color Hurts” works. I would like to share it because, this is exactly what I want as an artist, for your work to evoke emotions and create a story of its own, she wrote me: “I am a person of color, and liked that part of the face was darken and the lowers half was light. To me it represented the range of skin tones from dark to white thus included all women. The expression was great as if she was going to speak. The hair was terrific with dancing golden balls crowing her face. As you can see, the piece really spoke to me. I’ll wait for your new creations. Ann”, she gave me a new perspective a new direction and a whole series came after her comment.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Leda: I can be contacted through Instagram, where I display my latest works. I can also be reached through my website: www.ledaalmar.com and I also have my fashion designs and some other products at: www.shopvida.com/collections/leda-almar
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Leda: The two shows for which I was working have been canceled because of COVID. I hope to be able to pick those back up next semester! In October I am participating in a digital display, COVID19: THE ART OF ISOLATION, which can be seen online, and I keep doing workshops at my studio with small groups. Drawing and sculpture classes.
What’s next on the horizon for Leda?
Leda: My next exciting Project Is taking place in Bogota, Colombia. I am going to be moving there for three months to work in an impoverished community where, along with a foundation of which I am a part, we will establish a ceramic studio to teach the residents how to produce products to generate an income that will help keep the community’s school open. I also hope to have a display showing my experience which will most certainly be amazing. This challenge holds everything that most fulfills me about art: teaching and spreading it. I am convinced that if everybody had more art in their lives. There would be more happy and complete people.
To find out more about Leda and her art, please make sure to check: