Xavier Laurent Leopold
Xavier Leopold’s work stages a zebra with a human face, the artist’s face. Applied with soft brushes on an abstract background made with coffee, the style of the artist is instantly recognisable with the representation of the eyes, looking away and slightly closed. The colour black and white represents the different heritage and roots of the artist (Sierra Leonean, Martinique and British). The rooster, which has many different meanings but mainly of protection and healing, is perched on the zebra’s back, looking in the same direction as the zebra.
‘Like a Zebra on a Farm’ is a phrase coined by the artist himself to express sentiments of feeling different, and his difficulty of fitting in, in a world that seems made to be going just in one direction. The zebra stands strong and (actually) shines in the dark with the use of glow in the dark paint - his mother used to tell him, even in the darkest hours, he still shines.
Like a Zebra on a Farm, Oil, coffee, glow in the dark paint on canvas, 92 x 122 cm, 2023 (SOLD)
Xavier Laurent Leopold (b.1992, Sierra Leone) is a self-taught contemporary painter living and working in London, UK.
Leopold’s passion for art blossomed during the period of lockdown 2020 - when the world was forced to slow down, yet social and political unrest raged, his art has been a source of personal therapy for him, and escapism for his audiences.
The artist explores abstract portraiture, cubism, and illustrative styles with a specific rendering of his characters where the eyes behold the most meaning. Using oil painting as his main medium, Leopold applies soft brushstrokes to depict bold characters looking straight at the audience – an arresting way to translate direct emotions from the artist to the viewer.
Leopold's pieces draw inspiration from his lived experiences, relationships, ideology, and worldview. The very uniqueness of his process resides in his use of glow in the dark paint which originates from childhood memories but also inspired by his mother’s words on how the brightest star shines in the dark
Xavier Leopold had numerous exhibitions in London such as 2 solo shows at the OXO Tower in 2022, one sponsored by Beats by Dre. He has been featured on BBC TV to talk about his practice and the launch of his colouring book which focuses on wellbeing and mental health for children.