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Leandro Gómez Guerrero

Leandro Gómez Guerrero was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on May 30, 1971. 

 

He currently serves as the Director of the Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts at the Universidad Católica del Uruguay.

 

"At the age of 17, I received my first commission as an artist from a priest named Isidro Alonso (affectionately known as 'Father Cacho'), who felt the compelling need to live among the poorest in Montevideo to find God. In that experience, he had an encounter with Jesus and asked me to paint that very special vision of Christ he had in the 1980s. Today, Father Cacho has been declared a 'Servant of God' and is in the process of beatification. This request marked me forever, and I discovered that for me, painting is praying.”

 

In 1991, he joined Norman Bottrill's art workshop, deepening his studies in drawing and painting, specializing in the human figure and eventually becoming his assistant.

 

In 1994, Gómez Guerrero held his first solo exhibition titled "Así en la Tierra como en el Cielo" (As on Earth as in Heaven), paying homage to Father Cacho, the priest who dedicated his life to sowing hope and raising awareness of the dignity of many people in the poorest areas of Uruguay.

 

He holds a degree in Communication Sciences from the Universidad Católica del Uruguay, where he has over twelve years of experience as a teacher in Creativity in the Bachelor's Degree in Communication and now also in the Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts, given his current path as a visual artist.

 

From 1994, his advertising career flourished in agencies such as Ginkgo Saatchi & Saatchi, Lowe Lintas & Partners, Teorema, Cámara TBWA, Corporación JWT, IdeasLab (the idea laboratory he founded at the LATU Technological Park), and McCANN Montevideo.

Throughout his career, Gómez Guerrero achieved awards that Uruguayan advertising had never conquered before, including the first Lion at Cannes, the first Clio Awards, and the first statuettes in London. He has received over 350 awards at local and international festivals, making him one of the most awarded creatives in Uruguayan advertising.

 

During this period, he traveled to study the works of the great masters of art, visiting major museums and special exhibitions in cities such as Paris, London, Rome, Florence, Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, New York, Miami, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, and Buenos Aires.

 

In 2018, after twenty-five years in the Uruguayan advertising industry, Gómez Guerrero decided it was time for a radical change in his life. He felt called to dedicate himself to painting the word of God, shifting his mission from being a "consumer fisherman" to being a "fisherman of men" through painting.

In this new stage, he wants to be a 'Artisan of Peace' who seeks to traverse the path of the 'Via Pulchritudinis,' to evangelize through beauty and lead to a profound spiritual experience that aids in the journey towards the divine.

 

In 2019, he exhibited the result of his first artistic production in this new direction titled “AnimAngels, Fraternal Creatures”. 

This art project presents the animals as angels. This particular point of view is inspired in Saint Francis of Assisi’s vision of animals and nature, so deeply connected to him that he called them as “brothers and sisters”.

“In this work they are pure and innocent creatures and I want to evoke their spiritual dimension.

The strokes painted in the artworks are an exploration to transmit the soul of every animal, avoiding the discrimination made by humans between good and bad animals, giving to all of them the quality of a divine creation that we all have the responsibility to care and protect.

At the actual world’s environment damaged by irresponsible industrial development and its consequent climate change, my mission seeks to sensitize and create an ecological conscience about animal’s protection. My most powerful tools to achieve this are beauty and mercy. 

That is why I entrust my hands to the Holy Spirit in every job.”

A project that is in full harmony with the Encyclical Letter Laudato si' by Pope Francis on the care of our common home. The catalog of the exhibition 'AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas' was selected to be part of the Library of the Papal Basilica and Sacred Convent of San Francesco in Assisi, making it available to visitors.

 

In 2020, as support and encouragement for the work he had been doing, he was invited to an Artistic Residency in Rome at the residence of the Uruguayan Ambassador to the Vatican, Dr. Mario Cayota. This experience allowed him to explore works and artists who are the greatest exponents of Sacred Art, inspiring him for his upcoming projects.

As a result of this artistic residence in Rome, the exhibition "Jesús es mi wifi" (Jesus is my wifi) was born in 2021. This exhibition is his testimony of a deep connection with the spirit of Jesus, shared through a universal code. He also launched a website for this project: https://www.jesusesmiwifi.com/en/.

As part of the exhibition launch, he conducts an Art and Spirituality Retreat with students from the Catholic University of Uruguay. During the retreat, he unveils the works of the exhibition, and participants create their own artwork during reflective sessions around the shared exhibition by the artist. This theme aligns with the homily of Pope Francis dedicated to the youth during his visit to Chile in 2018.

 

In late 2022, the Rector of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay commissioned him to design the University Chapel, themed "La Capilla del Encuentro" (The Chapel of Encounter). This chapel consists of 13 large oil paintings (3.5 meters by 2 meters) to be placed on the walls and ceiling. Gómez Guerrero is currently working on this significant commission, which will extend until October 2024.

The color palette of the entire Chapel and its works is marked by the color purple as the protagonist, symbolizing spiritual transformation and rebirth. As it is the color of renewal, the purification of the soul, it represents mystery, the depth of faith, and symbolizes knowledge and understanding of divine secrets.

All these works are being created "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam" (For the greater glory of God), and the artist signs them on the back of the canvases, seeking not personal protagonism but attributing the works to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every stroke and throughout the creative process.

 

 

EXHIBITIONS

 

Solo Exhibitions:

 

September 1994: "Así en la Tierra como en el Cielo”, COFAC, sponsored by the Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Montevideo.

October 1994: "Así en la Tierra como en el Cielo”, Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes, Montevideo.

 

Special event created by the artist:

November 2017: "Il Povero Salvator Mundi”, a counter-auction of donations to support the social work established by Father Cacho, Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales (MNAV), with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Montevideo.

 

August 2019: "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Aula Magna, Montevideo. Curator: Alejandro Denes.

 

September 2019: "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, World Trade Center Montevideo, Central Hall Tower 4, Montevideo. Curator: Alejandro Denes.

 

October 2019: "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, Catholic Church of Montevideo, Club Católico, Montevideo. Curator: Alejandro Denes.

 

November 2019: "La Consagración de Uruguay a la Virgen de los Treinta y Tres”, Catholic Church of Montevideo, Cathedral of Florida, Florida. Curator: Pablo Marks. Commissioned work for the National Pilgrimage to the Virgen de los Treinta y Tres and the 25th Anniversary of the event "Uruguay le Canta a la Virgen de los Treinta y Tres”.

 

December 2019: Received the Fundación Ernesto y Elena Benedek Award, recognizing the content of the "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas" exhibition.

 

January 2020: The catalog of the "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas" exhibition  was selected to be part of the Library of the Papal Basilica and Sacred Convent of San Francesco in Assisi, making it available to visitors.

 

March 2020: "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, Cantegril Country Club de Punta del Este, Punta del Este, Maldonado. Curator: Alejandro Denes.

 

December 2020: Jury member of the "Mostrá tu Arte" Contest, Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Montevideo.

 

April 2021: Selected by the magazine "Letras de Parnaso”, Spain, representing the Asociación de Pintores y Escultores del Uruguay, Artistas Visuales (APEU), in the April 2021 edition.

 

April/May 2021: Individual Exhibition "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, Main Gallery, Zaragoza.

 

September 2022: Individual Exhibition "El Cristo del Carrito”, Explanada de la Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo, Uruguay.

 

August 2023: Individual Exhibition "El Cristo del Carrito”, Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires.

 

November 2023: Individual Exhibition "AnimAngeles, Criaturas Hermanas”, Consulate General of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in Barcelona. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery.

 

 

Collective Exhibitions:

 

March 1999: "Arte Sacro 60 Aniversario Hermanos Maristas”, Colegio Juan Zorrilla de San Martín, Montevideo.

 

July 2003: "Creativos Artistas”, Círculo Uruguayo de la Publicidad, Montevideo.

 

April 2008: "Primera Exhibición de Arte realizado por Creativos Publicitarios de Iberoamérica”, organized by FIAP, Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

January 2020: "Exposición Colectiva Internacional”, Ateneu de Celrá, Girona, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

February 2020: "Exposición Colectiva”, Galerie Les Deux Clochers, Saint Génis des Fontaines, France. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

July 2020: "ReencontrArte" Exhibition of works created during COVID-19 lockdown, ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

July/August 2020: "Exposición Colectiva”, FestiArte de MARBELLA, France. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

September 2020: "El Arte de Aprender" Collective exhibition for children, ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

September/October 2020: ARTERIA XVII Edition, city of Monzón in HUESCA, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

October 2020: Exhibition "150 Years of Tristán Narvaja”, Montevideo.

 

November 2020: Night of the Temples, Stella Maris Parish, Carrasco, Montevideo. Curator: Rosario Bianco, Alberto Charbonnier Baudeant.

 

February 2021: "Homenaje a Artistas y Colectivos de Arte Internacionales”, Anniversary of ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

March 2021: "Mes de la Tradición Criolla”, Ateneo de Montevideo. Curator: Asociación de Pintores y Escultores del Uruguay, Artistas Visuales (APEU).

 

March 2021: "Mes de la Mujer”, Ateneo de Montevideo. Curator: Asociación de Pintores y Escultores del Uruguay, Artistas Visuales (APEU).

 

March 2021: "Pétalo a Pétalo" Tribute to Women Exhibition, ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

April 2021: "Mes de la Tradición Criolla”, Pueblo Gaucho, Maldonado. Curator: Asociación de Pintores y Escultores del Uruguay, Artistas Visuales (APEU).

 

April 2021: "Exposición Aniversario de Goya”, Casa de Goya, Zaragoza, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

April 2021: "Monzón Feria de Arte”, city of Monzón in HUESCA, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

May 2021: "Abre tus Alas”, ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona, Spain. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

 

July 2021: "Luces y Sombras”, Ateneo de Montevideo. Curator: Asociación de Pintores y Escultores del Uruguay, Artistas Visuales (APEU).

 

October 2021: "Art Fair”, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France. Curator: ImaginArte Gallery, Barcelona.

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