Raphaël Leonardini

France, 1970

Raphaël Leonardini was born in Paris in 1970 to a highly artistic family. He began producing his own works at a very young age. He spent his school years at the Centre for Studies and Research in Pedagogy and Psychoanalysis, an experimental school in Bonneuil-sur-Marne and spent some time gaining work experience as an ice-cream maker and gardener before moving on to drawing and archaeology. After leaving school, he studied sculpture and drawing. However, it was only once he moved on from these normative structures that his creativity truly took flight. Large surfaces entirely covered with black or coloured lines entice the viewer’s gaze to caress the work before identifying the figures depicted. These imaginary worlds create unexpected conjunctions in sophisticated compositions featuring labyrinthine architecture, Doric columns, cascading roses, and medieval turrets, all scattered with inscriptions in Greek, Egyptian, Hebrew, or some mysterious language from a science fiction novel. Raphael’s dazzling blend of ancient and contemporary myths recounts the fairytale of a new age and a new world, which sometimes reveals the stamp of his favourite author, Edgar Allan Poe.