Bio & Artist Statement


Ricardo Sleiman is a multi-talented artist of English and Lebanese heritage. Having grown up in Nigeria, he moved to the UK to further his education. In 2005 he successfully completed a Fine Art BA (Hons) Degree at the University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury, before moving to east London.

His art delves deep into the profound themes of mortality, metamorphosis, and the transient nature of existence. Through his evocative artwork, he captures the essence of transformation, freezing that poignant moment when one form of being gracefully yields to another.

Working primarily with his own body and using digital photographic techniques, Ricardo skilfully distorts and inverts his own body parts, creating a mirrored symmetry that subverts conventional ideals of beauty. Faces are deliberately concealed, and gender is artfully obscured, as these entities cease to be extensions of himself and transform into distinct, genderless beings.

Set within familiar domestic settings, these genderless creations seem perpetually trapped in a state of transition and transformation, evoking a sense of fragility and vulnerability, existing solely in the moment, capturing the very instance of their ongoing metamorphosis.

Ricardo’s deep-rooted connection to the themes of death and transformation traces back to his childhood, imposing a considerable influence on his artistic journey. During his youth, the notion of transformation evoked fear, particularly in the context of physical metamorphosis portrayed in films and cartoons. However, as he matured, that fear gradually transformed into a profound sense of curiosity, compelling him to delve into the concept of something shedding its identity to become something entirely new. The sudden loss of a dear friend during his formative years had a significant impact, prompting him to channel his fascination with mortality into his art. Coupled with poignant memories of hunting birds with his father, these experiences exposed him to the swift, and almost mystical, transition from vibrant life to stillness in nature – a transformation he found both moving and haunting.

During the COVID lockdown, Ricardo turned to traditional ink drawings, focusing on deceased birds in various states of death and decay. The connection between deceased birds and the concept of personal transformation may initially appear elusive. Yet, Ricardo skilfully infuses these subjects with symbolism that speaks to the themes of change, rebirth, and transformation. In a manner akin to his manipulated body images, these subjects allude to the fragility of life and the simultaneous emergence of something new and different.

Ricardo’s work is a testament to the beauty found in life’s inevitable transitions, inviting us to reflect on the intricate dance between mortality and rebirth. His art challenges us to embrace the fragility of existence while celebrating the endless potential for renewal.