We had the opportunity to talk to Leila Pinto, a professional painter from New York City. Her art is influenced by the Old Masters, Post Modern Abstract Painters and her job on Wall Street. Being able to paint both realistic and modern abstract artworks promises an exciting future for her collectors.
In New York, there are over 50.000 artists. Leila Pinto stands out because her works are deeply influenced by her experience on Wall Street. During the difficult times of the financial crisis in 2008, Leila worked on her art skills and met many inspiring artists and art teachers on her way to the world of fine art. Her appreciation for art has deepened during the course of her training. It has sharpened her eyes in terms of appreciating the finer details and the perspective of different artworks.
What inspired you to become a painter?
I’ve always appreciated art and prior to taking up painting, have spent countless hours in museums and art galleries viewing the work of the Masters. I availed of docent-led art tours (at museums) which provided a deep dive into different schools of Art. I also took an elective course in 19th-century French painting while doing my MBA at Columbia Business School. Many years later, when I had a little more time, I enrolled in an evening art class in Manhattan, and loved it! That was the beginning of my journey.
There are two types of people – creative and rational people. What is your opinion on that statement?
I think it’s the ‚left brain‘ vs ‚right brain‘ discussion. Left-brain oriented people tend to be analytical and methodical; while creative and artistic people are said to be right-brained. I think like anything else, it is a matter of degree and a continuum. I am able to use both sides of my brain but really didn’t know that until I took several art classes and exercised the other side of my brain. So it is about tapping into both sides of our brain to become more balanced individuals.
You chose Brexit as one of your series – Is the link to the financial sector, economics and politics something that will always be part of your art?
Not necessarily, it is just one of many sources of inspiration. As someone who is surrounded by buildings and someone who loves fitness, travel, and the outdoors, nature invariably finds its way into my work as I am deeply inspired and moved by the stunning beauty of nature and its never-ending source of supply of inspiration.
What are your art plans for the future?
Going forward I will continue to create work that I find inspiring and that is in keeping with my passion. The inspiration for the pieces I am working on now come from the beauty of nature, the events taking place around the world and other artists I have the privilege of knowing. Since art is an experience, I hope to inspire and empower others through my work to develop personal connections to art and in so doing, strive to make the world a better place.
Does your cultural background play a role for you as a painter?
Yes and no. I think one’s heritage is interwoven with who we are, so in that sense, yes. But my painting style is very much influenced by where I have lived most of my adult life, which is New York City and by my art education, of which, my representational work is inspired by Renaissance artists. As part of my art education, I painted Master Copies of Rembrandt (his self-portraits). I also paint in the style of the New York Hudson River School artists, whose work is characterized by their realistic and sublime representation of the American landscape. They, in turn, were influenced by Claude Lorrain, John Constable and Turner. I love Turner’s skies!
In contrast, my abstract paintings are heavily influenced by the New York Abstract Expressionists and also other contemporary masters like Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter.
Is there a key message you want to convey with your paintings?
I think there is a universal desire for art to connect with other people in some way, to evoke a certain quality or feeling and in the case of world events, it is my sharing of my response to those events and that response that is uniquely mine. What I really try to create is something that resonates with life as I see it, and speaks to our shared experiences as humans, and especially during these recent pandemic times I tried to convey through some of my abstract landscapes a feeling of peace, calm, and serenity in the viewer.
Your career is very impressive and inspiring for men and women in the finance industry. What have you learned from it and what would your message be to young professionals?
Thank you! I think the elements are similar whether one is training to be an athlete, or a musician or a business person. First, have passion and purpose. Then it is about hard work, learning the fundamentals of your craft/sport etc. and also about having the dedication, drive, perseverance and mindset; the ability to recover from mistakes and setbacks. It is also important to keep learning and growing.
There is a lot we can learn from Leila. „The ability to acknowledge failure and proceed, to not give up and push through difficulties eventually leads to success.“ Her way from a hobby to a professional fine art painter demonstrates the truth behind her words. Her admiration for the Old Masters was what inspired her to learn the difficult painting techniques which require lots of training. Mastering these fundamentals also shows the professionalism of her abstract artworks. We are very much looking forward to Leila Pinto’s future works.