Leon Keer (1970) learned to paint through designing and producing large advertising murals for multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Heineken, Red Bull, Reef, Evian, Royal Club, Remy Martin and Absolut Vodka. He has executed commissions in the Netherlands, Germany, France, The United States, The United Arabic Emirates and Australia. His knowledge of materials, acquired by painting on all kinds of foundations for his clients, led to an interest in experimenting with materials and techniques.
During his career he often presented his art by live-action-painting performances. His ability of performing as a street painter, lets him share the joy of painting with the public. Chalking directly on the streets started in 2007 when Leon Keer was invited to participate an international street painting event in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A good learning lane next to some of the most experienced street painters at that time. Another road of experimenting was born. As well as an individual street painter and as the art-director of Planet Streetpainting he was responsible for several contemporary street paintings in the Netherlands and even more often abroad. He says: ‘Every street art piece is unique and belongs to the street and its residents’. ‘Streetpainting is all about working together. Together with other artists you are able to create streetscapes as far as the eyes can see’.
A message – formerly so important in all of Keer’s commercial work – also seems to be present in his own work. Current issues are reviewed, such as current environmental concerns and the livability of this world. The artist observes great impotence and with that a certain degree of indifference from the individual. Leon Keer is constantly aware of the beautiful versus the ugly, a contrast that he expresses and amplifies in his work and which he uses as a metaphor for live. His paintings reflect his thoughts, confronting the viewer with the diseased spirit of our times, visible decay counter-pointing a timeless longing for unspoiled beauty. Leon Keer works with a mixture of techniques, uses a rich variety of materials, ranging from professional acrylic paints to adhesives, solvents, primers and tar. His subjects and images are entirely contemporary: they could be freeze frames from a video clip.
Leon Keer exhibited his paintings in various Dutch Art Galleries in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Groningen. His work has been showed at several Art Fairs in Europe. Open Art Fair 2009 (Utrecht, The Netherlands); Lineart 2009 (Gent, Belgium); Primavera 2010 (Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Berliner Liste 2010 (Berlin, Germany), Twente Biënale 2011, Artantique 2011 and Art Fair Cologne 2011.