Leo Angelo Bio displays his Erykah Badu rendition
I've been representing Jacksonville, Florida pretty hard for the past few weeks. Here is yet another spotlight on a Jacksonville Pinoy/Pinay artist: the talented Leo Angelo Bio of the 8X10 Collective. We profiled Grace Bio last week, so check that out if you haven't already. I encourage all Filipino Americans to explore the hidden pockets of Filipino talent across the country.
Here we go!
When and why did you get into painting?
I got into painting when I was 8 years old reading X-men and Kung Fu comics. My favorite illustrators are Bill Sienkiewicz, Kent Williams, who made beautiful water color paintings of Marvel characters, and Tony Wong of Jademan comics. They were all major influences. During my teens, graffiti had a major impact on my style.
Why do you believe painting is the best way for you to express yourself?
Painting is a force which is drawn from your soul, your Devine self. Painting and drawing is a spiritual act, as any Art is. Color, shape and form interpreted by imagination: the illusion provokes thought into the viewer.
What inspires your work?
The Creator’s creation creates my creativity. I’m drawn to truth, beauty, and God. I wish the viewer to understand an artist's mind.
Describe the graphic art scene in Jacksonville. How does it compare to other scenes you are familiar with?
The art scene in Jacksonville is a growing, long over-due young scene. I am just now getting into the emergence of the scene. I have been performing live art in various venues around town with my sister, Grace. The thing about Jacksonville is, it loves art but doesn’t like artists. There a lot dope artists in Duval that hardly get shine. A big city like Jacksonville should embrace art more, because we are the soul and future of the city. The Filipino community should embrace their youth and their creativity, because without it - they will fall into negative stereotypes, which destroys representation our people.
Describe your experience at Filipino Pride Day. How was your reception by the festival goers?
I had a good time, but expected more. As a Non-Filipino, I would have liked to learn more about the history and culture. I was looking to see more political activism and social awareness about my country - the two things Filipinos ignore here in the U.S. I have to say, I was saddened that people were wearing Pinoy pride shirts but didn't know who I was painting (Ninoy Aquino). But, it was good time to reveal The 8X10 Collective to Jacksonville and the world!
What is your favorite hip hop album, and why?
I have been into hip hop since 1986 so it’s hard to have one favorite album. De La Soul’s “Buhloon Mindstate” and Digable Planet’s “Blowout Comb” would have to be my top two. Both albums got dope samples, hard-hitting beats with a jazzy feelin'. Both albums exemplify the highest creative potential in Hip Hop. Both albums you can rock all day, every day!