Leilani Bustamante has always balanced a romantic beauty with the darker themes in her art. The San Francisco based artist, featured here on our blog, voices themes of mortality exploring elements of death, and rebirth, and her newer works explore the loveliness of the macabre. Ripe with symbolic elements, her paintings feature figures rendered with in the tradition of classical beauties that are arranged in abstract and darkly fantastical montages.
“As human beings curiosity of death and the dark is a part of life. I find a lot of comfort in dark themes and they fall in line with my emotions and sensitivities. I think it’s a natural and universal concept to find a little darkness in everything and everyone and throughout art history it’s easy to see why artists romanticize the dark- it is alluring, attractive and unknown,” Bustamante explains.
Her current solo show “Diabolica” at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco is centered around the classic battle between good and evil, illustrated in a decorative style that evokes Art Nouveau. Bustamante finds that it is struggle still relevant today: “It is a conflict that continues to rage in all of us,” she says. Her eight new paintings employ a palette of gold tones and stark blacks, displaying figures set against a refinement of design and occult patterning.
“The natural and unnatural world requires balance. As in life and death, light and shadow, above and below one cannot exist without the other. The hero is locked in a symbiotic dependency with its nemesis. Whether it is an angel, a soldier of justice where goodness is righteous or a demon, an agent of malice where destruction of morality reigns supreme both sides are ferociously absolute. These stories of the occult are as old as the theme itself.”