Jonas Leriche: On The Verge of Extinction

Jonas Leriche is a Belgian artist who transforms emotions and intentional or unconscious ideas into gripping images, artworks and experiences.

By Balthazar Malevolent

Jonas Leriche: On The Verge of Extinction

Jonas Leriche, a contemporary artist from Antwerp, Belgium, was first introduced to photography by his mother when he was a child. After years of honing his craft in Europe, he relocated to New York, where he is now a well-known artist. His works are widely sought after by big collectors all around the world.

Bees are vanishing at a rate that resembles global extinction. Many species will become extinct in a few decades if their number continues to fall at the current rate. Everything we see and experience is made possible by bees. Bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, and they have been dying in alarming numbers.

With (bumble)bees on the edge of extinction, Jonas Leriche represented the queen bumblebee's sorrow and fear at the loss of her entire hive. This triptych was designed by Jonas Leriche to bring attention to this tragic circumstance.

"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.

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.

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.

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."

Taken from the artist's website.

Jonas Leriche - On The Verge of ExtinctionJonas Leriche - On The Verge of ExtinctionJonas Leriche - On The Verge of Extinction
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