(b. 1948, New York) DJ Leon uses a combination of collage, photography and text to make complex compositions on diverse subjects, from pop culture to art history. Each thematic work is an assemblage of crudely cut, found images sourced from Internet browsing, with photographs and both related and free-associative text. Although appearing to be slap-dash in style, the artist’s methodical and laborious practice involves embellishing, manipulating and repurposing image and text to craft a complex melange of visual power and tacit humor. His choice of materials and images is never random, and his allusions are carefully considered. This fluid, deceptively simple image world interjects content and critique, by disrupting and informing simultaneously, all with cheeky wit.
Leon’s works explore the phenomenon of experience and the translation of memory into image and form. Each collage combines 100 – 150 images, which the artist alters, interlacing aphorisms, cultural adages and disjointive phrases, which suggests a new narrative for the piece, and adds humor and wit to the piece. The titles give the theme.The multi-sensory, interactive experience is heightened in the Lenticular and 3-D works, which create composite, animated images, made by the superimposition of lenticular screens. Lenticular images move as the spectator shifts his position, creating as illusion of movement. The lenticular technology activates Leon’s fluid, unexpected image bank, engaging the viewer in the production of meaning of the piece.
DJ LEON was not formally trained. A longtime, avid photography enthusiast, Leon began devoting himself exclusively to a photo based practice after retiring from Wall Street in 2009. His artistic practice has developed into multiple forms, from making images with a camera, to combining and transforming images into collages.His color photographs often focus on popular places and social gathering, themes of leisure and pop culture, nature and enjoying life. In these photographs, Leon’s anthropological style both records and comments on contemporary life.