Casey Leone is an artist based in Fort Worth, Texas. She earned her BFA in Studio Art, with an emphasis in printmaking, at Texas Christian University in 2017 and also studied studio Art and Art history at Rhode Island School of Design and The University of Oxford. Casey exhibits her work internationally with exhibitions at The Ruskin School of Art at Oxford and the CICA Museum in South Korea in addition to many exhibition venues across the DFW area, including a solo exhibition at The Reading Room in Dallas, Texas. She has just completed an artist residency at The Vermont Studio Center where she also received an Artist Grant.
███ Goes to Washington
An Art for Our Time
"The latest series of works by Casey Leone, recognizes parallels between the then and now and represents a challenge to the digressive good old boy political system that America has found itself trapped in today. Leone has taken imagery from Frank Capra’s 1939 political drama Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and transformed it creating work that is as applicable today as it will be 30 years from now.
Leone’s process is a simple one. Taking screen stills from this veritable cinematic classic, she alters them by voiding out the male lead played by Jimmy Stewart. Leone’s Voids is an ongoing project in which she obscures found source material, creating isolated images that re-contextualize her scenes. By doing this in the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington series she creates a visual backdrop of our nation’s capital that, when seen by viewers, perfectly sets the stage for the petty political power-plays that we see going on today.
From the senate floor to the steps of the presidential monuments, Leone has removed the naively hopeful first time politician that has inspired generations of viewers into believing that democracy always wins out in the end. Without Mr. Smith, then who will filibuster the senate vote by taking the moral high ground? The answer is no one. By lambasting the optimism of the film, the body of work reflects the general sentiments of today’s American people.
But no matter how much a film or story reflects truth or current events, in the end it is still artifice. By adding flat fields of color, here utilizing a harsh all too familiar shade of red, Leone disrupts the implied spatial depth of the image. Beyond this the crisp line of the color fields stand in stark contrast to the nearly eighty-year-old film. By accepting and embracing the media for what it is Leone inadvertently raises the curtain to reveal the artifice of Hollywood cinema causing us to reconsider what we digest in visual culture whether it be film, art, or current events."
-Rafael Barrientos Martinez