Dimensions: 61.75 x 41.75″
Media: oil on canvas
In the same way that Leyba considers his works artistic renderings of geographical features, his oil on canvas piece, Copala, references the Mexican city Copala, known for its history of silver mining. While the work adheres to several of the tenets of abstraction, the distinct layering and assembly of representational forms lends it the quality of the sun setting on a distant horizon, indicating Leyba’s continual fascination with both space and setting, and a tribute to New Mexico’s sweeping sunsets.
Orlando Leyba’s works oscillate between the abstract and the representational; while free floating and formless, the detailing in his pieces—which demands a degree of intimacy to appreciate—stands in for a wide array of Leyba’s experiences, emotions, and physical encounters. Ranging from custom lowrider cars to petroglyphs, Leyba’s affinity for incorporating found objects and ideas in his work and ability to juxtapose the corporeal with the immaterial, the whimsical with the familiar, introduces a profoundly psychological insight into Leyba’s past and present life as an artist. As a high school student, Leyba describes that he and his classmates would often break into abandoned buildings in search for materials to use in their work. While Leyba’s present practices might now be considered more conventional, he continues to use ideological manifestations of what was once a process of physical collection—incorporating checker patterns reminiscent of his grandparent’s floor, collage materials, and distorted textual elements in a manner not too different from tearing wallpaper from forgotten walls. To Leyba, his works are inherently topographical and interconnected; they interact with one another rather than stand alone and represent “little pieces of land”, a concept ingrained in him from the time spent working on his parent’s property in northern New Mexico as a child.