🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈
Meet Leo Adef – the Argentinian artist tearing up the queer scene in Barcelona
“I try to incorporate all that I am in my art, deconstructing and learning from queer theory and feminism.”
I have a special treat for you today lovelies 🙂 Please welcome Leo Adef – our newest addition to the XConfessions Artist Gallery! I discovered Leo’s art on one of my late night Instagram scrolls and I got so excited when I saw his work that I woke up my husband waving my iPad in his face like a crazy person ;D. Long story short, I immediately sent Leo a message to tell him about my XConfessions project and told him that I absolutely had to have him as a collaborator. Leo is an Argentinian director and photographer AND he is based right here with me in the city of my heart – Barcelona – where he is very well known as an important member of the vibrant queer scene. Alongside his work as an artist, Leo is also one of the organisers of a fairly new party in town promoting queer lifestyle, underground music and most importantly unconditional love, respect and sex-positivity. If you live in Barcelona or are planning to visit you have to check out MARICAS MARICAS.
What strikes me most about Leo’s artwork is how unapologetically real it is. It provokes so many emotions while at the same time it is very humble and discreet. Leo manages to be personal and political at the same time and I think that deserves our attention! I had the pleasure to meet Leo and ask him some questions for you. I hope you enjoy:
Hey there, Leo! Do you remember the first time you picked up a camera? How and when did you get into photography?
Hi Erika 🙂 I remember experimenting with the cameras that I had in my house, especially with an old video camera that my parents had. At the age of 12 I discovered that I could connect the camera to a VHS player and edit the videos in a very homemade way and I spent many hours playing around with that. I lived my teenage years very repressed and it was difficult for me to begin to experience my sexuality in the way I wanted, with all this sh** I had in my head. My cameras were a very important tool for me in that aspect. I remember one day when I entered a chat room and I met a guy and I asked him if I could do a nude photo shoot with him. It was the art that opened the doors of my own sexuality. I spent two years doing that just for me, to discover, to find myself. After a while, I decided that I was ready to show it and I realized that other people also liked what I was doing. Now, about 6 years later, luckily, I could turn that into my job and continue experimenting with sexuality and art, discovering myself more and more.
When I first discovered your work, I was absolutely stunned. Looking at your work makes me feel like I am in a very modern version of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. A world ruled by adolescence. It’s so beautiful and savage. Where do you get your inspiration?
I am very inspired by my own history, by the thoughts and ideas I had when I was younger and still have, by what I would like to have done and I did not dare or what I would like to have seen when I was a teenager. My friends also inspire me a lot, the young people that I get to know thanks to my work, my sexual experiences, the nights and the parties.
Would you define your art as political? Are you consciously trying to put queer and gay lifestyle on the radar or is that something that happens more intrinsically?
I think everything we do is political and the responsibility I feel is with myself and my ideas. As I grow up I try to incorporate all that I am deconstructing and learning from queer theory and feminisms. My personal challenge and what I am working for my next projects is to take advantage of the space I have to tell different stories, with characters different from what we are used to seeing and with stories that escape from the heteronormative. I am meeting many new people who live their sexuality, their identities in an alternative way to the norm and I love being able to tell stories that have to do with it to inspire people who see it and who can identify with what.
You are originally from Argentina. What is the most significant difference between the queer community in Buenos Aires and the queer community in Barcelona and how does that reflect on your work?
I left Buenos Aires at the age of 21 and at that time I was just starting to learn many things so my biggest growth was here in Barcelona. While Barcelona has a much longer queer history, in Argentina things are beginning to change and there are many young people with whom I am in contact and whom I would love to work with. I would like to return to Argentina for a while to do a project and be able to show everything that is being done in my home country.
Leo, alongside being a photographer, you are also a movie director and you have shown your work on several film festivals around the world. What’s the coolest art tip you’ve ever received on your journey that you would like to pass on to other young artists?
The best advice I received was to be true to myself, to what I feel, to commit 100% to what I do and what I am telling. To forget about what’s cool or what’s fashionable and be able to tell stories in the most sincere way possible. I learned that the technical part, in our work, is only a compliment and what really matters is what we are telling and how we do it. I learned to say no to many work proposals that went against what I believed in and that being honest with what I do, although it is a longer process, is the most important and that there are still many possibilities.
If you would have to pick ONE piece of art out of your collection to shoot to space in a capsule as your eternal contribution to humankind..what would it be and why?
That’s a difficult question because I understand my work more as a process in which I am learning from project to project, in which I grow in what I tell and how I tell it and each one has a special meaning for me. If I had to choose one, it would be a short film that I am working on right now and that I hope will be finished in a few months and that tells a story of discovery and liberation in a very sensitive and sexual way. I hope to share it with you very soon.
Why do you think we asked you to work with Xconfessions?
I think we feel the same need to create content different from what exists in porn and mainstream art. I really like that you have counted on me for this, because I believe that among us we have to join forces to create an increasingly diverse content and that this also serves to inspire new people to contribute different points of view and sensibilities.
Well, now that we have heard a bit about you, I am curious: You as one of my Xconfessions artists, what do you think about my work? I want brutal honesty!
I really like the space you are creating to tell and develop new and different stories. I know it’s a long process and that you have to gain space little by little but I would like to continue seeing more and new voices in the content. I think it would be very good to continue incorporating new voices that tell stories that provide the greatest possible diversity; directors who can tell stories from different parts of the world, of different ages, with different interests and make this community richer, more diverse and more interesting.
What a wonderful time I had with Leo! And I agree with him that we should try and fight for diversity in the adult industry. Because of this and because it is PRIDE MONTH, check out XConfessions coolest queer movies! We’re going to have more special treats and promotions coming up for Pride soon so get excited 😉
- We are the fucking world – Olympe returned as a Guest Director with a pansexual orgy that was one hell of a shoot! All performers donated half of their to Amnesty International!
- Refugees Welcome by Bruce LaBruce is so unusual, so incredibly moving and undeniably current that we HAD to shoot it. And who better than the prolific, controversial and Prince of Homosexuals himself.
- Intruders – XConfession’s second ever gay film! I introduce you to the incredibly smart, kind and fantastically talented Director Travis Mathews! Shot in Brazil, this film is different from anything you ever seen in gay porn before.
- Pansexuals – Supporting and respecting diverse ideas on sexuality and sentimental relationships – this movie directed by myself 😉 is a must see!
- AND COMING SOON: Gender Bender – I will not spoil anything! But you will love it!