About the artwork
Through my own experiences in the ring, I have produced a variety of work, including painting, sculpture, and performance. The portraits viewed here are of champions who I admired during my childhood and who I regarded as the ‘greatest of all time.’ The drawings capture quiet moments in the ring—moments of introspection. Their faces and bodies exude prowess and strength while still being battered and evident of pain. They depict how at the end of each champion’s career is an inevitable downturn—a falling from grace.
By drawing these hero figures, I am looking at them in a reflexive manner—searching for my own worth. These champions represent much more than their greatness in the ring. They serve as a mirror to our own projections of desire, ambition, and failure. The magic we bestow upon them is the manner in which we create symbols imbued with our own wishes to be significant and invulnerable. These portraits are, therefore, an attempt to humanize these icons—to alleviate them from their stature and depict how, at the end of the day, these champions are just men.
Each edition comes stamped with Wu-Tang logo emboss.
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About Shaun Leonardo
Champions from childhood, relieved of their crowns
“An inevitable downturn – a falling from grace”
Shaun Leonardo fearlessly dives into meaty and contentious topics like mass incarceration, police use of force, and black masculinity in work that encompasses performance, video, and other formats...More about Shaun Leonardo