Artist Spotlight Series: Leonard Baby

It is an Artist Spotlight Series Monday.  

This talent was introduced to me by a previously featured artist whom I adore, Brooks Burns. He has a great eye so I knew I would love the work of his fellow artist.

Enjoy getting to know the talented

Leonard Baby

A.K.A. Reed Stanton

New York, New York

What is your training? 

I was privately trained from the age of about 6 to 18. For college, I didn’t go to a formal art school. I went to a liberal arts school in downtown Manhattan where I studied lots of art theory and history. I started painting seriously only after I graduated.

What inspires you and your designs?

Most of my inspiration comes from film. Watching movies is my favorite pastime. My paintings are typically derived from a mental screenshot I took while watching old French and Italian films. 

What is your favorite piece? 

Currently, my favorite piece is titled “We’ll Get Through It.” It was painted in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and it captures the feelings I was experiencing at that time. 

How has your area influenced your work?

New York City, the Upper West Side more specifically, has been extremely influential to my work. There is a timelessness to it. It is You’ve Got Mail and The Panic in Needle Park. There is deep history on every block. It is the cross-section of many vibrant cultures. My work and I are very lucky to reside here.

What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?

My favorite restaurant is an Italian place called V&T here on the Upper West Side. They have an incredible white pizza. 

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite cocktail is a bloody mary. The more Tabasco the better.

How do you balance personal life and work?

Work and personal life balance is something I’m still trying to master. I am very introverted so it is easy for me to post up in my studio and not talk to anyone for days. But I deeply value social interaction and it impacts my work positively, so it is something I am working on getting better at.

Dream trip?

My dream trip would be to Mexico City. One of my favorite movies, Roma was shot there. The city scenes in that film are so potent. I’m very eager to visit. 

Dream commission?

This question is tough. I think my dream commission would be a portrait of a horse and its owner. Horses are my favorite thing to paint. 

Your favorite host/hostess gift to give?

Flowers. I love giving them and I love getting them. 

Who is your style icon?

I have so many style icons. The Beatles are hugely influential to my style, George specifically. 

I get a lot of my style inspiration from mid-century French and Italian cinema as well. All of the costumes in Antonioni and Godard’s films are so beautiful and classic. They feel simultaneously old and new. I think about them every time I get dressed. 

Your favorite up-and-coming artist?

Currently, my favorite artist is Anna Weyant. Her paintings remind me of John Currin and in some ways, they’re so much better and she’s only 25! 

Her palate and subject matter are unnerving and comforting at the same time. She is really brilliant. 

What is your most treasured possession?

My grandmother’s gold ring. I wear it on my pinky, it is so perfect.

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading a book of poems by Sam Shepard called Motel Chronicles. I’m such a fan of all of his work, but his poetry is my favorite. It’s very western feeling. I like that.

What are you listening to?

I’m listening to something different every day. Recently is been a lot of 90’s soft rock. The Cranberries, The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, 10,000 Maniacs, Mazzy Star, stuff like that. 

What are your favorite blogs/publications?

My favorite publication is called Fantastic Man. It’s a men’s style magazine that has a ton of great recommendations.

There is also a french magazine called Where is the Cool that I really love. They highlight different things they deem as cool and I always agree with them.  


Be sure to follow Leonard Baby on Instagram and Bird & Tale

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