A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and resident of New York City since 2000, Leonel Piraino became inspired by the African wildlife during his first trip to the mother land.
Drawing from the wide variety of species that inhabit the wild areas of the continent, Piraino’s work intend to reveal the contrast between the fiercest animals and the tranquil environment they live in. The simplicity of this cohabitation is highlighted by Piraino’s charcoal work which usually depicts animals in their natural state.
Through his acrylic work, Piraino also exposes human intrusion into the wildlife. This part of his work denounces the poaching of rhinoceroses and elephants for their horns and ivory tusks as well as the killing of big cats for trophies, and the slaughtering of sharks for their fins.
The brutal actions of humans faced with the beauty and force of Africa’s wildlife and the need to tame and dominate the land and its inhabitants clash with the serenity and balance of otherwise untouched sceneries.
The simplicity of the African wildlife is juxtaposed with the destruction and obliteration of animals for human consumption and esthetic embellishment thus creating symbolic depth in Piraino’s paintings and charcoal series.