Leonardo Drew, Number 215 (2019). Wood, paint, and sand. Dimensions Variable. Exhibition view: Leonardo Drew, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York (16 May–2 August 2019). © Leonardo Drew. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.
Leonardo Drew (b. 1961) considers himself an elder statesman of the art world. In his first exhibition, at age 13, he showed a larger than life painting of Captain America. His natural talent for draftsmanship earned him early opportunities to work at prestigious comic book publishers like Marvel and DC Comics, but Drew was after something more elusive. In the conversation that follows Drew talks about the choices he made that enabled him to begin earnestly creating art, the experiences and collaborators who were formative in his development as an artist, and the influence of travel on his life and his practice.
This summer Drew is exhibiting his first outdoor sculpture, City in the Grass, in Madison Square Park while a solo show of Drew's new work is on view at Galerie Lelong in Chelsea. We met on a sunny morning in early June and spoke for an hour beside Drew's room-size sculpture, Number 215.