Paintings by Leonardo Montoya feature colorful and hyperrealistic portraits using a stylized technique.
Leonardo Montoya was born in Medellin Colombia in 1972. Since his childhood, he expressed a deep interest in art and the human figure. At the age of 11, he began his formal studies of drawing and painting. He entered the Eladio Vélez School of Fine Art in 1985, learning different art techniques.
Leonardo graduated Valedictorian of his high school class of 1990 and a year later, he had his first art exhibition in Medellin, Colombia. In 1992 he won his first mural commission at the Cinema Las Américas in Medellin, which is still on exhibit today. From 1991 to 1994 he also had several publications of his drawings in the newspaper El Colombiano.
He returned to Eladio Velez School of Fine Arts in 1994 to study advertising and photography for four years. From 1995 to 1996 he taught art at the National Academy of Arts in Medellin and worked as an illustrator of medical books for the University of Antioquia.
He immigrated to the United States in 1998, chasing the American dream. Despite the economic hardship and instability, he never lost his interest in art. He worked with interior designers and participated in numerous art exhibits.
In 2002, Montoya was awarded the first prize in the Hispanic Heritage poster contest in Tampa, FL and again in 2007. In 2004 and 2011, he won the second prize for the same competition
In 2010, he had the opportunity to study classical drawing at the Grand Central Academy in NYC. There he studied hyper-realism by instructors such as Jon de Martin and Scott Waddell, a turning point in his work as an artist.
Since 2015 he began a series of exhibitions with his Diva collection, a work that highlights the character of the female figure, full of vibrant colors and three-dimensional effects, based on experimental and mix-media art.
2018 was a great year for his career. He had the opportunity to be part of an international exhibition in the United Arab Emirates at the Ras Al Khaimah fine arts festival where he was awarded the title of Artist of the Year. Also, in 2018, he was part of Contemporary Venice in Italy, his first exhibition in Europe.