The Canvas | George Leontaras
06 March 2014
George Leontaras was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1966 and returned back to his origins, Greece in 1978. He started experiment with photography in the 80's using a Zenith SLR and used to hike mountains, roam the streets of different cities as well as going to every imaginable place in order to capture the “perfect” photograph. After a few years, he moved on to a Minolta Maxxum 5000i, which his brother gave him as a present. He started buying filters, zoom lenses, macro lenses and even set up a dark room with all the accompanying necessary gadgets and tools for film development. However, by the end of 1995 the financial burden associated with film development became too much and he slowed down on his quest for photographic excellence.
Around 2007 things started picking up again as the age of digital photography dawned. He realised the cost of digital photography was much less since he no longer required a dark room and its traditional film developing techniques. So he bought his first Compact DSLR camera, an Olympus 550UZ with an 18x optical zoom. And that was it. He got into photography again - big time! He now uses a Canon 40D with an Allround Sigma 18-200mm DC OS lens and a Canon Macro EF 100mm 1:2.8 L IS USM lens.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on photographic manipulation and digital processing.
Has your art or approach/method changed over the years and if so, how?
Of course it has. Photography used to be all about analogue films and now it has stepped into the digital domain where many different kinds of interventions are possible and composite images can be relatively easily created.
What made you join Body of Art?
I joined BOA because of its amazing, highly functional, qualitative virtual gallery and of course because it is free for any artist.
What is your biggest ambition as an artist?
Most importantly, I want to make people feel better about the world and themselves through my pictures, and if I can sell any of my work to them, that will be even better.
If you could own any piece of artwork, what would it be and why?
I have no particular artwork in mind but I would buy any piece of art that represents the simplicity and beauty of our world, which is exactly what I am trying to do with my work.
What makes you laugh?
My brother, who is also an exhibiting artist here on Body Of Art, as Agamemnon Porfirogennitos and generally people that have a good sense of humour.
What is the central theme of your work, do you have one?
The themes of my artwork change over time. Basically, it an be anything I admire and excites my imagination, there is no particular theme or trend that I pursue.
Which of your works is your favourite?
Two of them; “Hope” because it reflects the majestic essence of nature, and “Waiting” because it brings out the sentiments of a simpler past era.
What is your favourite word, the word you tend to use more often?
My favorite word is “Excellent,” because it encourages people to do their best on their next artistic endeavor.
Have you got a bad habit, if so, what is it?
We all do, but the worst trait for me is egoism. If we can release ourselves from it, we can liberate our art.
If you could choose any new skill that you could master, which would you choose?
I would choose to learn how to love people without any preconceptions, because when you love people you love art and when you love art, you love people.
"Lamp Glow Winter Seanson"
What makes you angry?
Generally I try not to get angry but I get distressed when I encounter selfishness, rudeness, arrogance and people who don't appreciate art.
When you were a child, what did you want to be?
I never wanted to be anything specific. I was fond of observing though the shapes and outlines of my immediate environment.
Who would you like to meet and what question would you want to ask them?
I would not want to meet anyone in particular, maybe somebody very wise and I would ask them, “Why can't people get along with each other?”
"I dream of my old bike"
What do you consider the greatest invention of all time?
I can't discriminate, there are many of them. To me the biggest invention is Art, because it is the way our oppressed right hemisphere can express itself.
What would be your worst nightmare?
My worst nightmare would be if there was no God in my life and if I had lost my faith.
If you could go down the history books and be remembered for something, what would you want that to be?
I would like to be remembered for my love of God, my love for humanity, as well as nature. I am not a professional nor an amateur photographer. I am a simple observer, a possessor of a humble instrument, a possessor of a pair of magical scissors which can cut pieces of time and space of an existing world, knowing that in a hundred twenty fifth of a second everything can enter into a different dimension and be transmuted into something else, something magical.
What is your all time favourite movie or tv program?
Dead Poet Society, because it is all about intelligent encouragement of our fellow human beings.
What would you scribble on a wall of world’s greatest quotes?
"I know that I know nothing," by Socrates because it expresses the humbleness every artist must have.
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If you had to give art students today some advice, what would it be?
I would advice them through art to exhibit whatever is healthy for them and good for humanity.