Contemporary artist Jonas Leriche was first introduced to photography by his mother in Antwerp, Belgium, where he grew up. After years developing his art career in Europe, he moved to New York where he is a well-established artist. His creations are highly sought after by major collectors worldwide.
Authenticity and artificiality
Even at a young age I was fascinated by the beauty of nature, and it has exerted an elemental pull on me ever since. This authentic experience stands in stark contrast with the world in which I have lived and worked for the last decade, a world dominated by mere appearance, social-media posturing and superficiality. The driving force behind my work is the desire to inject the rawness of nature into the seamless, controlled perfection of my photographs to undermine the facile gaze of viewers unaccustomed to scratching any deeper than the surface.
Photography is just a medium
Transforming emotions, intentional or unconscious ideas into gripping images: this is what matters to me. Constructing my photographs layer by layer, with meticulous attention to detail, I compose my vision of beauty. Taking the actual photo is but the final stage of a long, deliberate process, punctuated by flashes of inspiration. This is why I first and foremost consider myself an art director.
Larger than life
The scenarios I create go far beyond the individual or the anecdotal. My aim is not merely to create an aesthetically appealing artwork, but to create something larger than life. That is why I transform individual models into dramatic, iconic figures that tap into a deeper level of experience, melancholy and mortality. The real quest, however, is to discover true beauty; inner, mysterious beauty for the viewer to gradually unravel.
Invitation to an inward journey
After years as a photographer, I felt an emptiness, and something calling me. It was time to take the journey inward, to transform. Art was the only way for me to make this journey. Delving into the rich layers in my artworks enables me to connect with deeper layers in myself. My authentic self. It is a dramatic, ongoing and even vital process. My ultimate wish is that my artworks will also awaken my viewers to a process of reconnection with the essential.