Leo Charre, Artist's Bio.
Leo Charre is a contemporary figurative artist living in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He was born in Mar Del Plata, Argentina- but his father’s work for an American company forced cultural and geographic relocations until adulthood. Charre ultimately became a citizen of the United States in September 2019.
His formal arts education began at the foundation arts program in VCU, Richmond, Virginia- he left early and enrolled at the SMFA in Boston for painting and fine arts. He left that after five years without a degree- to take a gig in the video game industry- then as a taxi driver, then a web designer, then a coder.
It would seem out of place to mention an artists’ seemingly unrelated career choices- except to mark that between these jobs- was the fluency of art- making it, showing it, selling it- in group shows with other underground and street artists, musicians- or even selling it on the street.
Charre’s last employed position was as a perl hacker for the financial and accounting industry in Washington DC, which he did for years- but this time, the ‘between jobs’ life of art didn’t end abruptly with the next career choice.
In 2010, he took up a studio space in a former car mechanic’s warehouse, in the city of Staunton, Virginia- and dedicated himself to his art. By luck- he was next door to an underground music and arts venue where he made friends with like people, and grew fond of the small city in the Shenandoah Valley. It was Staunton that nurtured and inspired him to create and continue to create.
Charre has mastery and preference of graphite, watercolors, and oil paint. His work explores the figure whether it be anatomy or portraiture. He is obsessed with the abstraction of the figure that is created by the viewer’s eye more than the draftsmanship of the artist themselves. To achieve this, he mixes a figure’s multiple perspectives in the same ground- much as cubism did- but without the obvious abstraction. Charre has a deep optimism about people and has therefore decided to make most of his life’s work about the human presence. His work sometimes looks like a confusing salad of line- some people have called it hard to make out- until one slows down a moment to notice that the underlying anatomy of the figure is perfectly there. In this way, Charre forces the viewer to look at the figure as if they had not seen one before- inviting our perception to take in ‘our image’, without the social construct of what the figure is and is not.
Representation by galleries include ‘The Argenta Gallery’ (North Little Rock, AR 2019) and current representation by the ‘Stravitz Sculpture & Fine Art Galleries’ (Virginia Beach, VA 2020 to present).