Leandro Pesantes – ‘From Nothingness to Existence’

Espacio Elisa Estrada
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Curated by Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers


The work of Leandro Pesantes (Guayaquil, 1986) can be associated with mystery, dreaming and the mystical dimension of Symbolist traditions. His attraction to esoteric knowledge is put at the service of a reverential intention to grasp the imperceptible, access the confines of the mind and discover the essence behind appearances.

This type of concern usually has a biographical substratum, which in the case of the artist dates back to his upbringing in a Protestant Baptist home. Since he was little, he has been marked by the idea of ​​“saving souls,” accompanying his parents on evangelizing tasks, not only in urban environments but also on frequent outings to the countryside. In 2007, he was baptized and prepared as a missionary in the Peruvian town of Saltur, close to the royal tombs of the Lord of Sipán, where he came into contact with sensitive experiences in which religion intersects with inherited knowledge and traditional healing practices, anchored in the natural world. This learning process is later integrated with his art studies, allowing him to channel the intuitions derived from those revealing experiences.

In this way, his most recent series of paintings – From Nothingness to Existence – is populated with landscapes where he interprets a nature that expresses itself loaded with phenomena and crossed by a repertoire of symbols that refer not only to the divine, but to magic, to the hidden, to the archaic, or to the ancestral. Works that feature a wealth of reminiscences that range from the exploration of the mountains in his time of preparation for preaching, to his affiliation with topics such as Kabbalah and the universal principles of metaphysics. In his paintings he usually includes words or phrases on the verge of legibility, whose ideographic role reinforces the transcendental meanings to which he points. Each work is approached as a small story inhabited by characters, masks and spirits that emerge from a forest,

And as in his previous installation work, works such as The Earthly Place or Kabbalah seem to have been loaded with traces of a ritual. He explores here the perceptible energy that emanates from the materials and objects used, to the point that they can be interpreted as ceremonial elements whose mythical character orbits around the unknown.

Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers