Leslie pushes us down the rabbit hole. She summons characters and situations that seem to have come out of a story or a movie; as a matter of fact, it seems that we’re surprising them right in the middle of the action. They bring with them a meticulous characterization, packed with details and information, as well successive layers that we keep discovering by exploring the composition. Leslie describes situations that appear to be drawn from a fairytale, sometimes inhabited by geishas and dragons, so typical of the oriental imaginary and culture.

Leslie’s palette is quite surprising, it seems to have colours that are just hers, and that contribute in a predominant manner to the general atmosphere. With attention to the details, with which Leslie values every square centimetre, we loose ourselves in her paintings, always finding new little things that have passed us by in a first glance.

She often turns to remarkable patterns, executed with surprising minutiae, that add to the surreal environment we find in her paintings.

The atmosphere is fantastic, it carries a diffuse light that vanishes itself between characters and the background. It decisively adds to this whole psychic ambience, uncovering the ruling state of mind with an energy that swamps everything and everyone. The disproportion between the size of the face and eyes, in comparison with its body and limbs, emphasises her way of thinking and the preponderance with which her psyche is able to manifest itself.

The stances of pleasure and satisfaction still prevail, but, somehow, it creates a sharp contrast with the characters’ countenances, which, sometimes, seem to be bored and even bothered by our presence, as if we were interrupting a moment that is just theirs.

By Pedro Boaventura • Excerpt from Masters of Painting - Volume 1

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, artist Leslie Ditto was raised in a Harley Davidson shop owned by her father and uncle, where she witnessed them build and paint extraordinary motorcycles. It was in this garage that her fascination in surrealism became rooted. In this creative atmosphere, where gas tanks (and other surfaces) were often painted with fantasy images inspired by such legendary artists as Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo, Leslie Ditto was born. 

Leslie attended Overton High School for the performing and visual arts and was accepted to Otis Art Institute of Parsons in 1988, but left shortly thereafter to attend to her family. She would go on to teach herself in the tradition of the “Old Masters,” such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rubens, Raphael, and Rembrandt. These strong influences, as well as a love for modern surreal art, led to Leslie’s culmination of surreal magic. Her artwork often contains simple and yet deeply complex symbolism touching upon social, political and spiritual elements and – with its achievements in colorful, vivid, and engaging paintings – blends traditional and innovative methods in an emotional beauty that is truly dynamic.

Since beginning her fine art career in 2008 Leslie has been featured in contemporary galleries in the US and all over the world. She has successfully sold out two solo shows at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California, been featured in several art magazines and books, worked with the musical artist Maynard James Keenan (TOOL, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer) to create the 2012 tour poster for Puscifer, and Leslie's "Dali" oil painting was featured in the Kustum Kulture II exhibition at Huntington Beach Art Center, CA. She has also created pieces for the Huntsville Art Museum for their annual Breast Cancer Charity and for the Tokyo Love Show for the Keep A Breast Foundation in Japan.  

Previous Artist Next Artist