GUP Author



Helio Léon

Artist Website

For Spanish photographer Helio Léon (1987), the boundaries between life, dreams and imagination are thin. Researching how the past and present are connected, and how his past has effected him and made him into the person that he is now, Léon returned to the city of Istanbul, in which he spent a happy and romantic period in his early twenties. In his series The Purple Room, León focuses on his Istanbul in a moment of his life where he felt possessed by the city, the people and its corners, as well as the feeling of being in a post-apocalyptic set of a science-fiction movie.

In his warm coloured and dark images, Léon shows a contrast between scenes of expressing delicate feelings and of raw and crude violence. Each image seems to reveal something that is usually not shown, and by taking them during times of low light, this feeling is only enhanced. All of the photographs taken in the Turkish metropolis are reflections of his own life, says Léon. The wounds of the city act as a mirror of his own wounds: anxieties, obsessions, mourning and issues with intimacy.