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Leonardo the Fabulous at Treme in Islip

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We stopped in at “Long Island’s Premier Blues and Jazz Club” Treme in Islip because we appreciate fellow Coltrane volunteer Leonardo the Fabulous and wanted to support his Art Opening. We ended up reworking our schedule to stay all night because the work is incredible, the musicians were meaningful, and the company well worth spending the time with.

Get down there before December 1st to see for yourself! There are images of Muhammed Ali drawn with white gel pen on a black board because, “Usually, when people draw, it’s all about putting in the shadows, I wanted to add the light.” Leonardo pays homage to Long Island, John Coltrane, the Beatles, and thus Heinz Edelmann and Ron Campbell, including a yellow submarine, the first version of which now belongs to Ringo Starr!

The process for many of Leonardo’s pieces is fascinating — he will do the drawing, and then have it laser-etched on glass. Often, as with the submarine, he then paints with vibrant color. Our own favorite piece mounts the glass a few inches from a white board then trains a light, revealing a perfect portrait of Audrey Hepburn in the shadow that plays beneath. A compelling image of Coltrane artfully combines the two methods for a deep and pleasing result.

“This is my own unique process. The possibilities are endless,” he says, “I love exploring them.”

There’s an insightful interview with Leonardo in the PopImpressKA Journal: One bit of wisdom there is this:

“Blacky’s Ice Breaking Theory
“Perhaps the most significant thing I learned from my father was what I call, ‘Blacky’s ice breaking theory.’ (‘Blacky’ was my father’s childhood nickname.) As a teen, on a cold winter’s day I was tasked with breaking up a newly-formed ice sheet on the walkway in our back yard.

The ice was thick and spread wide. I complained that ‘it would take forever.’ ‘There’s so much ice.’ I said. My father told me to not look at the entire ice sheet, but instead just focus on the section directly where my shovel met the ice and to concentrate my efforts there. ‘Just do one little section at a time, don’t even think about the rest of it…and before you know it, you’ll be done.’…

The kid with the shovel, the actor on stage, the fighter and all of us need to live in and deal with the Now, as it’s all we have. Pay attention to where your shovel is striking, not the ice twenty feet away. Understanding this concept helped me through the worst and most challenging parts of my life.”

Image of Leonardo's etched glass submarine provided by Leonardo the Fabulous