Artist Shaun Leonardo, wearing a black t-shirt and cuffed pants, sits in a white chair for a portrait in the Sky Room at the New Museum. His hair is cut short. He wears wire-frame glasses, a goatee, and is looking into the camera, his hands clasped and legs crossed at the ankle. In the rear of the room, a bright backdrop of city buildings and a water tower are visible through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Shaun Leonardo: From Seeing To Witnessing

Visiting artist Shaun Leonardo will discuss his multi-disciplinary work, which interrogates societal expectations of masculinity, namely definitions surrounding black and brown masculinities. Speaking to his most recent body of work in The Breath of Empty Space, he will describe the physical and psychosocial negative space that is activated when viewers fill in the blanks, reframe details, and remix narratives based on both personal experience and perceptions ingrained by media and cultural biases.

The artist will also describe his investment in performance as a process of embodiment — exploring the ways in which memory and trauma are lodged within our bodies.