Léo Monteiro

Porto Alegre – RS, 1990

Léo Monteiro is a visual artist with a degree in Visual Arts from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, and he had also previously obtained a degree in Literature from that same institution.

His watercolors and drawings use a surreal imaginary to approach themes of the body, gender, sexuality, affection, and PTSD. His figures are ambiguous, oscillating between the materiality of their lives and the symbolic world of their desires, hopes, and fears. Such figures, partly human and partly fantastic, seek to establish affection and connection with the person who observes them, through a colorful, fairy tale universe that surrounds them. Although this scenery is idyllic is sometimes disrupted by trauma and loss, the fact that it is also composed of animals and plants creates promises and messages of renovation, hope, and cure. 

Such aspects can be seen in “Desabrochar Tardio” [“Late Bloom”], his series of eight watercolors, colored pencils, and gouaches that portrays the metamorphosis of his creatures: a trans man, from childhood to adulthood, and a family of little mice, whose death fertilizes the soil where a wild pansy flower [its name in Portuguese – “Amor Perfeito” – translates literally to “Perfect Love”] then blooms. “It’s a story of pain, grieve, and loss, but also of transformation, home, and new beginnings”, analyzes Léo Monteiro.

In 2018, he created the exhibition “Apego” [“Attachment”], at the studio Ateliê O Bestiário, in Porto Alegre.


“Desabrochar Tardio I – VIII” [“Late Bloom I-VIII”] (2018). Mixed technique on Porto Alegre paper. Dimensions: 20cm x 30cm.