UNconventional : Leeroy New
UNconventional by FTC is a series exploring creators, designers and artists expressing unique, thought-provoking perspectives of socio-cultural and global significance through their craft. These creators stray away from the conventions and norms of everyday ideas and give them a new meaning through their otherworldly creativity.
The current art scene of the "roaring 2020's" is marked by fresh faces and visionary artists leaving their creative imprint all over the global map. Spearheading this contemporary scene is the dynamic Leeroy New, a 34 year old Filipino fine artist converging artistic prowess with fashion .
Wild, whimsical and a larger than life visionary, Leeroy New's creative range knows no bounds as an artist-designer headlining the creative spectrum of the international art radar.
The Manila based artist kicked-off his passion-turned-profession saga in his initial years as an art student in the Philippines. A visual arts graduate of Philippines High School for the Arts and a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, New gained insight on set-designing and costumes for performance arts majors.
Upon enrolling into college, New was dead set on expanding his artistic horizons and going commercial with his work by exhibiting pieces dabbling in street art, taking custom orders and ultimately converging visual arts and high fashion.
Originally trained as sculptor, Leeroy's artistic versatility impelled him to try everything from production design for film, to working with fashion designers, to creating life-like 3D installations for commercial purposes.
A practitioner of sculpting, street art, fashion design, production management and jewellery making - among everything else - New has a knack for what can be called “applied sculpture."
Once denied recognition by galleries, today, the young Avant-Garde Filipino designer is no stranger to the spotlight. His futuristic art has made its presence felt on a global scale, cultivating an artistic language that considers the current environment and deals with creating art for mass consumption.
Having always been fascinated by fantasy films and horror movies, Leeroy's work can be described as a crossover between mythology and nightmares along with a dose of pop culture - something that reflects in his artistic vision and grotesque sculptures.
Deriving a heavy influence from mysticism and science fiction as well, the artist's body of work showcase his vivid imagination. A glimpse into the artistic world of New transports the audience into a dystopian dream that includes alien-like regalia, fantastic sculptures, and larger-than-life installations.
In the recent years, New has ventured into the world of fashion and his body of work as a designer showcases him creating high-end pieces by employing sculptural techniques and sensibilities to create a fittingly convergent blend between fashion and futuristic art.
Over the years , Leeroy has continued to prove his mettle in the world of fashion by curating a string of awe-inspiring runaway looks using unorthodox techniques and experimental silhouettes that make heads turn.
Mindful of the fact that artistic expression truly serves its purpose when it connects with the community itself, Leeroy has also put a foot forward to collaborate with urban designers and community based organizations to create public spheres of works that draw attention to social issues.
Leeroy has lent his artistic vision to a variety of installations, that give a nod to his futuristic style for different events and causes - in 2017, he created ‘rhizome colony’, a biomorphic alien structure situated on one of the lakes in Thailand’s Wonderfruit festival.
Choosing to source his material organically and further benefit smaller communities, the innovative genius proves to be creative and considerate about his artistic imprint on the world.
The award winning creative whizz has showcased his work internationally at exclusive art shows like the prestigious Fukuoka Triennale in Japan and the Singapore Biennale. Adding to his list of awards, he has bagged the Ateneo Art Awards, the 2012 CCP Artist Award and was an Asian Cultural Council fellow in New York City as well .
With life like exhibitions and surreal sculptures, New aims to bridge the gap between gallery-museum art and the general publics fading fervour for appreciating art. He strives to create a platform for the abstract and unreal, giving voice to the absurdity and contradictions of our modern world that transcend the traditional and ordinary .
Head over to Leeroy New's Instagram to catch a glimpse of what can only be described as out-of-the box art .