MEET YOUR ARTIST
Leonidas Dezes (he/him) utilizes a combination of animation, video, performance, and music in his work. He received a B.A. in Digital Arts from Stetson University in 2011. Having previously designed graphics for Hearst Television, he is currently working towards his M.F.A. at the University of South Florida.
Leonidas' work is about finding importance in the apparently unimportant. He utilizes aspects of play, including frivolity, levity, nonsense, and humor. His most recent project takes the form of a weekly internet live streaming show called "Total Insanity" that incorporates absurd daily holiday themes, self-questioning commentary, and a plethora of characters Leonidas interacts with as a host. The visuals, partly influenced by internet memes, are a combination of simple computer-generated imagery and lo-fi, hand-drawn animations. His work examines live streaming as a venue for coping with anxieties through the defiant frivolity of play and humor and the liberating detachment of alternate personas and fantastical narratives.
Two of these videos consist of a collage of moments from my live stream, with the other two comprise appropriated imagery and hand-drawn animation. For his streams, Leonidas uses a green screen to superimpose backgrounds into the scene. He also uses overlays of animated characters - some 2D and some created in 3D software. For the other videos, Leonidas animated drawings and images to the fantastical songs he recorded using a digital audio workstation.
What is the inspiration for this current exhibition?
My inspiration for this exhibition is to reflect life around me through my unique lens of playful humor, levity, and frivolity. By doing so, I expose underlying currents of anxiety, both personal and societal, revealing the importance of the seemingly unimportant entertainment content.
What is your process?
For my live streams, I plan segments around a weekly theme for each show. I make a list of possible ideas, and the ones I'm most excited about, I begin work on, whether that be an animation or video. I also write a loose script as a guide if I want the episode to take a certain path but also leave room for improvisation and the unexpected. Finally, I will add my new content into my streaming software and work out any technical issues. For the music videos, I try to maintain a playful, free-flowing current in which I rely on intuition and humor to dictate what visuals I add to the soundtrack.
What are your goals after this year?
I am working on a live streaming musical that will look back on the conception and development of my streaming show, using true and fantastical events to discuss the importance of sincere goals and human connection, which defines the metamodern aesthetic in contrast to postmodern irony.
The Legend of Luke Myers
Fang Bang! A Leo’s Tale