“My name is Juan Marcelino Leon Dextre. I was born in 1948 in the beautiful village of Recuay, located in the department of Ancash, Peru. I grew up free among trees, rivers, and meadows, looking at the Andean horizon. I was nourished by Andean experiences, stories, myths, and legends.
“I consider myself to be a simple, modest, and humble man who is a successful artist of great talent. I am a painter with a style that has its own national identity. Thanks be to God, who has blessed me with art in my hands. My art has won awards already, along with my contemporary colleagues.
“One of the most difficult episodes in my life without a doubt was the loss of my mother. I watched her extinguish slowly, like a flame that gives light to darkness, a candle that loses its luminous intensity as the wax is depleting. In my gloom, I saw my mother die; taking her hands, which have taken care of me and protected me. It pains me to remember it, and I cannot stop the tears from flowing. There will always be a void in my heart, but painting submerges me in the world of art and I find the strength to carry on.
“I attended art academies while I was still in school. When I finished high school, I attended the National Superior School of Fine Arts of Peru, where I spent six years of my life. I was very passionate during this time. I managed to graduate with honors. I love that I have been able to bring my art to the world. I was invited by the teachers of fine arts to become one of them, giving lectures in their classrooms. It was the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me, and since 1993, I have worked to transmit my art to students who shine with their own light.
“Along with my studies at the School of Fine Arts, I also studied the works of the greatest artists of the world, such as Goya, Velasquez, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt. I observed their pieces a lot in order to study their techniques. In that way, I was able to learn even more about nature, light, color, volume, textures, and the movement of art. Little by little, I started creating. With time, I developed my own style and language until I became a master.
“God gave me this beautiful gift and the art in my hands. Nature chose me to be its representative; she is my teacher because she shows me the form and volume that I can interpret through light, atmospheric perspective, color, depth, and relief. This art attracts me through a necessity of life, existence, and the pleasure of experiencing intense emotions during the creation process. For me, every work has great significance, as if it were a child.
“What I like the most about my art is creating a piece from my imagination. I travel through unknown worlds of light, color, and form. Each one is a world with its own laws, beliefs, philosophy, and religion. I love when I see my completed pieces, satiating myself with a pleasure that I cannot describe. The most challenging aspects are composition and transmitting the message of a piece, achieving an impact.
“My inspiration comes from the Andes. I am an artist born in Ancash, where from a young age I was surrounded by the grand clouds of the mountain range, by people with their vibrantly colored traditional clothing, and by the landscapes, flowers, and countrysides, a visual paradise combining rain, hail, rays of light, and thunder.
“My plans, hopes, and dreams are to continue painting, because this is my passion. For the future, I hope to be a part of Peru’s history, with my artistic legacy in my own hands. I have displayed my pieces in many collective expositions in Peru, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Morocco, the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile, achieving recognition and distinctions along the way. I am very thankful and I feel blessed at the same time.
“Art is a language through which we can communicate social norms, the tranquility of a landscape, or the beautiful transparency of a flower petal. Art sensitizes and humanizes. My pieces are made to inspire emotions in the soul.”