Photo credits: Irina Sabatina

Welcome to my artistic universe. I am Leonardo Vargas, I am a painter. I hold a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht in the Netherlands, as well as a specialization diploma in history and theory of modern and contemporary art. I have also completed a doctoral thesis in Visual Arts at the University of Strasbourg in France, where I have been residing since 2016. In this captivating city of cultural intersection, I cultivate my artistic practice.

My work stems from a diligent exploration of images sourced from a variety of media, including historical visual archives, fashion photography, art history, magazines, books, and the vast image expanses of the Internet. My primary goal is to create a visual experience focused on sensation, going well beyond the mere utility of the image and surpassing the boundaries of daily visual consumption.

In my work, I delve into the possibilities of painting as an agent of visual transformation. By establishing a profound dialogue between image and painting, I question the technical achievement that un-realizes these images to rediscover the human even in its torn aspects. This ongoing dialogue opens doors to a kind of perpetual becoming, where the image is transformed and often guided into the territory of the unpredictable, even the unknown.

I invite you to join me in this visual adventure where the image becomes the starting point of a journey, and where painting becomes the reflection of our humanity, with its nuances, contradictions, and impulses. Welcome.


PhD Candidate in Visual Arts
University of Strasbourg
Strasbourg, France

Master of Arts in Fine Arts.
Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Specialist in History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Art.
University of the Andes
Bogotá, Colombia


“Leonardo Vargas”. Galerie Bertrand-Hassoun (Besançon, France, September 2023).

“Leonardo Vargas : Peintures 2019-2022”. Council of Europe (Strasbourg, April 2023).

“ARIA” .Galerie Bertrand Gillig (Strasbourg, January 2023).

“Pop-up Galeries” Fernet Branca Foundation. Solo show presented by Galerie Bertrand Gillig within the framework of “Pop-Up Galeries” (Fondation Fernet Branca, Saint Louis, France, March, 2022).

“Chanson d’automne : Peintures (in)connues”. Galerie Bertrand Gillig. (Strasbourg, France, October 2021).

“Leonardo Vargas / ( Daguerreotypes )”. Galerie Bertrand Hassoun. (Besançon, France. July 2021).

“Leonardo Vargas / Peintures”. Galerie Bertrand Hassoun. (Besançon, France, June 2019).

“Portraits” (“Au CubeExpo”, Cabinet of deputy Sylvain Waserman, Vice-president of the French National Assembly, in collaboration with Galerie Bertrand Gillig. Strasbourg, France, April 2019).

“On The Walls” (NDSM Treehouse. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2011).

“They have a rotating cap and permanent body” (Kinderdijk Project. Nieuw-Lekkerland, The Netherlands, April 2011).


“Nature & découvertes” Museum Maison du Kochersberg,(Truchtersheim, France, January 2024).

“Summer Breeze”. Galerie Art Center Berlin. (Berlin, Germany. August 2023).

“Luxembourg Art Week 2019”. Contemporary Art Fair. Presented by Galerie Bertrand Gillig (Luxembourg, Novembre 2019).

“Bienvenue”. Contemporary Art Fair. Présented by Galerie Bertrand Gillig (Paris, France. Cité International des Arts, Oct. 2019).

“Peintures d’Ayline Olukman et de Leonardo Vargas». (Banque Richelieu France/Galerie Bertrand Gillig. Strasbourg, France. April 2019).

“Photo-Peinture”. Galerie Bertrand Gillig. ( Strasbourg, France. December. 2018).

“Photo-Peinture”. Off the walls exhibition, Galerie Bertrand Gillig (Kelh, Germany, August 2018).

“Artlab”. Galerie Benjamin Eck. (Munich, Germany. June 2018).

“Veau d’or, vaches maigres”. Palais abbatial, Sennones ( Sennones, France. 2017).

“VI Salón de Arte Bidimensional”. (Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño. Bogotá, Colombia. 2013).

“Muted Distortions”. (Metamatic:taf. The Art Foundation. Athens, Greece. 2012).

“Art Asylum”. (Saint Germain. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. June 2012).

“Tricking the Everyday”. (Academie Galerie. Utrecht, The Netherlands. June 2011).

“Colombian Artists in The Netherlands”. (Pulchri Studio. The Hague, The Netherlands. March 2011).

“Duik in het Jaar der zotheid”. (Genooschap Kunstliefde/ Ruitme voor Beeldende Kunst. Utrecht, The Netherlands. Jan. 2011).

“Kijken, Kijken Kopen”. (Genooschap Kunstliefde/ Ruitme voor Beeldende Kunst. Utrecht, The Netherlands. Dec. 2011).

“D.A.R.E. 5. Collective Individualism. Interventions in and through the public space” (Expodium/Platform voor jonge Kunst. Utrecht, The Netherlands, August 2010).

“Catching Up!”. (HKU. June 2010. Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2010).

“Snargled Megalopolis”. (Platform IHC/University of California Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, United States of America. 2010).

“Thanks for thinking of me/Gracias por pensar en mi”. (Museum of the Caribbean. Barranquilla, Colombia 2010).

“4to salon de Arte Joven Club el Nogal”. Bogotá, October 2008.

“Libros de apuntes, bitácoras y diarios de artistas”. Galería La Localidad -Planta baja- Bogotá, Colombia. Mars 2008.

“Intergrafías”. (LA Galería Arte Contemporáneo. Bogotá, August 2007).

“La Ciudad”. (Fundación Cu4rto Nivel Arte Contemporáneo. Bogotá, May 2007).

“Salón de Agosto 2006”. (Contemporary Art Museum, Bogotá, August 2006).

“Concurso internacional de Artes plásticas Compositor Antonio Gualda”. (Centro cultural Valentín Ruiz Aznar. Granada Spain, 2005).

“III Salón Nacional de Arte, Diversidad 2004”. ( Casa Cuadrada Gallery, Bogota, Colombia. July 2004).

“Rosales 2004”. (Galería Casa Cuadrada. Bogotá, Colombia. January 2004).

“II Salón Nacional de Arte, Diversidad 2003”. (Galería Casa Cuadrada. Bogotá, October 2003).



OHREBUS 529 (a 5 minute live painting) project conceived for ASCA International workshop. University of Amsterdam, 2012.

Presentation Talk on the Panel “Scapes and Paces” at ASCA International Workshop 2012.
University of Amsterdam, April 2012.

Ribba 16″ (a 5-minute painting Live From the Van Abbemuseum) – Eindhoven, The Netherlands, June 2011.

“Views of a Dutch Landscape” Collaboration for “…And something happened to me” B32/F65 Maastricht, The Netherlands. September 2011.

“There’s no such thing as an innocent Reading” (Read-in’s collaboration for P for performance ) Van Abbemuseum. Einhoven, The Netherlands, June 2011.


Member of The Research group ACCRA (Approches contemporaines de la création et de la réflexion artistique) ED 520 -Humanités, University of Strasbourg.

Member of Read-in research team (2010-2012). Project within the framework of “User’s Manual: The grand Domestic Revolution” Casco projects- Office for Art, design and theory. Utrecht, The Netherlands http://www.read-in.info/

Member of Genootschap Kunstliefde, ruitme voor beeldende Kunst. Utrehct, The Netherlands (2010- 2011).

Assistant Researcher for ICAA project (International Center for The Arts of The Americas) at Universidad de los Andes/Houston Museum of Fine Arts (2009).

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