Leenda Bonilla: New York Magdalene
In her painting El Sueño de Los Amantes Está Floreciendo... en NuYOrk, artist Leenda Bonilla celebrates the mature bloom of love and the feminine "en Nueva York." Leaves and flowers surround the woman, a mid-century Magdalene, her tears contained by shells from the sea.
Two lovers embrace behind her, perhaps a memory or a dream, or something else.
As a Puerto Rican artist living and creating culture in the Bronx, Leenda's green forest around the figure can exist in an empty lot in the Bronx or a rain forest in Puerto Rico. The hibiscus could be purchased in the supermarket or found wild in the front yard of a typical house in the island. The woman could be the black and white fashion picture of fabulous aunt who escaped the poverty of the island during the first half of the 20th century, or a model in a New York fashion magazine.
She is blooming and, maybe... she is crying. The dream of the lovers is blooming in New York... And love is all the Magdalene wants.
About the Artist
Leenda Bonilla is an interdisciplinary artist, art + culture producer, and a specialist in art-making practices with civic engagement. She is influenced by her urban/suburban background (born in NYC, raised in The Bronx and Puerto Rico). Leenda holds a Master from the Pratt Institute, and is a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) Leadership Institute & Arts Advocacy Program. Her creative career traversed from magazine publishing, to non-profit art/cultural management, and currently in the public sector working on community development focused on building civic engagement via the arts. Her art is integral to how she engages el mundo (the world).