Leslie Pierce


Leslie is an artist motivated by contemporary culture and the rapid pace in which we continually absorb information and images.
“Codified/ Code Defied”, focuses on how visual information hits our retinas and how images are reduced, rearranged, and interpreted by thought. If something is left out of a story or an image, our brains automatically fill in the rest. This filling-in-the-gaps-response is an interesting area to think about visually, as in how each person perceives images differently, so too is the way we fill in the gaps and negative spaces.
She arrived at the series after a few years of experimenting with abstract figurative work and playing with contrasts of flat and modeled areas. Then one day her printer ran out of ink and left skipping color striations across the page. Most people would have tossed out the paper, however, she felt a surge of inspiration. The image presented was definitely both abstract and figurative and reflected life in our world right now: fast paced, technology driven, fragmented, mysterious and captivating. From there, she began distilling photo references- most of which she has taken, into vertical lines of paint. Form and value seem to be ironed out, while simultaneously standing up in space. To create tones and volume using vertical lines has been an interesting adventure in paint.
Beneath the surface appeal, she is examining ideas on documentation, fragmentation and coding systems. These concepts are contrasted in luscious palettes of ice cream colors that flourish in slice of life contemporary scenes. Leslie Pierce is a contemporary artist, known for art that focuses on scenes with underlying themes involving coding systems, documentation, man and technology.
Her ongoing series, “Code Defied” (2013- ), evolved from contrasting flattened and modeled forms of the human figure. While printing reference images, her printer ran out of ink and printed striations of color and fragmented parts of an image. This lead to an a-ha moment. The traditional way of painting is changed as Pierce employs vertical lines to generate value, form, space, time and place. Form and value seem to be ironed out, while simultaneously standing up, suspended in time. Leslie is honored to have one of her pieces in the permanent collection of The Harry Ransom Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and has been awarded several Special Projects grants to expand her work. While living in Austin, she curated and organized group exhibits, taught Encaustic Painting, Painting and Drawing and ran a popular Life Drawing and Painting group. She now teaches at her new studio in San Diego. Born in New York, Leslie spent part of her childhood playing inside the Museum of Natural History, behind the scenes where her father worked as a scientist. Studying the exhibited dinosaur bones and life sized dioramas in the museum, influenced her way of seeing the world and began her love of art and artifacts. The “Code Defied” series is an original series that Leslie began in 2013, while living in Austin, Texas. Since relocating to San Diego the following year, Leslie continues to grow this unique series.

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