Leonardo Ceballos was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. México. to a single mother (Bertha Mercado), a person and situation that have shaped the following years of his life. A passion for drawing led to his discovery by an observant painter who was intrigued by his unique technique. Truth be told, his technique was stealing bits and pieces from those he admired, forming the building blocks of what would become a singular voice. The story of Latin American immigrants is not a new one, but in the hands of the talented Leonardo, the story is presented in a new light.
For an artist, inspiration comes from a plethora of places and it is no different with Leonardo. First and foremost, there is the influence of his mother specifically and women in general, in the heroic as well as nurturing context. An image of females, typically larger than life is a recurring theme in paintings. Leonardo has a need to speak through his hands which he finds much more proficient than words, whether it be on a canvas, through graphic arts or in creating handmade masks, his life is one of a seemingly endless number of projects.
Though his works are very personal in nature, they are complete only when seen through the eyes of an observer. With elements that reflect Latin American traditions, his work is the expression of an emerging talent both proud of his Mexican roots, yet fully engaged in the American Dream. The hardships, rejection and loneliness he has felt through his journeys are elements that give way to hope, triumph, and a renewed passion for what lies ahead. The road he has taken has been filled with detours, yet each stop along the way has been its own unique destination and inspiration. In much the same way his work reflects the maturing emotions and imagination of his life, a life spent seeking an undiluted expression of experiences and observations.
By Daniel Tyree