Leo Crane/ Summer Issue

LEO’S HAND-PAINTED ANIMATIONS COMBINE THE SENSUALITY OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD WITH THE POSSIBILITIES OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY. HE USES NFTS TO DEVELOP NEW IDEAS FOR CINEMATIC WORKS AND TO PROCESS HIS OWN EXPERIENCES AS A QUEER PERSON AND HUMAN BEING.


Leo is co-founder of FIGURATION, a creative studio specialising in community-led animation. His practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary, winning multiple awards, as well as features on national television in the UK and Brazil.

In 2020, the studio released NUDE TRIUMPHANT. Directed by Leo and written by his husband Roy Joseph Butler, the watercolour animation has had over 40 international screenings and developed into the book Contemporary Figures in Watercolour. This year, Leo released a collection of NFTs from the film featuring the characters as infinite animation loops.

Leo has gone on to collaborate with composer Zach Whitney to release ITHAKAS. This hand-painted NFT contains 22 watercolours, 5 films of ink in water and an original score of cinematic quality. Leo and Zach are now working on a series of animated NFTs with opera singer Merav Eldan.

Leo is currently working with artist Ilona Suschitzky to realise THE MASTERPIECE OF TAMAGATA. Written by Roy Joseph Butler, this ambitiously animated folk tale uses an experimental approach to Japanese ink-wash painting (sumi-e) with an epic score by screen composer Anna Rice.

Alongside his practice, Leo runs courses and masterclasses at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, V&A, British Library and Heatherley School of Art. He was selected by Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson in Sky TV’s Portrait Artist of the Year and was an artist to follow on Canal Curta! in Brazil (2020). His first solo show Life in Colour: Portraits of Queer Londoners was featured in the top five things to do for Pride 2019 (London Evening Standard).

Leo holds MA (Distinction) in Computer Animation from Bournemouth University and MA (Hons) in Classics from Oxford University. He studied painting with Maggi Hambling CBE and is represented by Future Icons. He lives in London. UK.




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