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About Leslie


Leslie Albert Folksman

Leslie A. Folksman, is a 67-year-old, self-trained artist who inspires art lovers from all walks of life with whimsical, and mysterious positive art expressions in his own unique style. His primary goal is to entertain and uplift humanity through his art.

A common attribute to Leslie’s oil paintings is the sense of depth as something magical is about to happen or has been caught in mid motion as it is coming to life. His work emits a sense of magic and wonder with scenes and characters that are either captured in a moment of electrifying birth or caught sneaking out of shadows. Many of Leslie’s characters are painted to look as if they are in mid-flight or at play in everyday scenes that we all might be familiar with.

Leslie’s style has been described as soft, dreamy creations. His paintings masterfully draw the viewer into each scene using a method of painting that creates a sense of atmosphere and depth using 3D effects of light, shadow and wonderful compositions.

He is always working on a new project but only recently has felt that he is onto something new with his art and looks forward to what this new direction will bring. 

A Tough Upbringing

Leslie, an “Air Force brat” with a somewhat difficult home life which he’d admit added spice to his artistic interpretations, fell in love with art as a troubled young teen. Over the years, art became his go to medium of expression, starting as a 9-year-old building toy soldiers with clay, to creating paper art that impressed his teacher in the 2nd grade, and to making his own unique toys with plastic car model kits to create ‘transformers’ before “transformers” was even a thing. Like many American kids in Texas, his first love wasn’t art; he had dreams of becoming a matador or maybe just the classic American cowboy, putting out thrilling shows to scared but excited crowds. Once it became clear that those dreams wouldn’t work out, he considered the idea of being a veterinarian; if he couldn’t roughen them up, he might as well treat them, right? However, Leslie was having a tough time at school, being bullied, and giving as much as he got; he quit high school in his senior year barely weeks before graduation because he just couldn’t find a home between those walls. Whatever regret and reservations built from his experiences, Leslie found solace in art and creatively translated his thoughts beautifully on canvas. 

Developing A Mysterious Art Style

In his twenties and still a rough artist, Leslie sought the tutorship of an expert in a painting technique known as glazing at Montgomery college in Maryland, and signed up for her class. He would instead slip in and out of her classes, gaining other knowledge of expressive art forms from covertly entering other classes, including the drawing of naked models, which he found super thrilling as a young adult.
Leslie eventually found a voice for his art, inspired by many artists of the past including Vincent Van Gogh. The latter immortalized the Sunflower through his painting and used contrasting colors of the Sunflower to convey happiness, life, and death. When asked what type of art excites him, Leslie is quick to say, “The surrealists! Especially as a group creating shit!” in his all-American tone. While the work of artists such as Salvador Dali inspires him, he is also inspired by present-day artists, including David Heatwole and other artists that have mastered the academics of art and craft. 

A Loner On A Mission

Leslie is a loner who prefers self-reflective art instead of working with a group of people. While he has worked with some trusted individuals, he generally suspects others as mere plagiarists looking to steal styles. Leslie firmly believes that art is a form of entertainment essential to society. He believes in positive art that leaves audiences inspired and in awe and not deflated and depressed.

When pressed on his thoughts on artworks representing war, he responds, “I am sure that there is a place for it, but I don’t want to represent the despots of humanity.”

He strongly believes art should be positive and a reminder of hope, not a reflection of the most primitive aspect of man. He does not believe the world needs constant reminders of the horrible Holocaust.

“I put lightning rods on the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. I know what happened during the Holocaust, and it was horrible. There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of movies, television shows, and books about the subject since the end of the war, and while we shouldn’t forget the people that went to war and died and certainly remember those that died because of it, but I don’t think that people need to be reminded of these horrors especially in art constantly.” 

His old friend and artist, Dennis Blalock, a fighter and survivor of the Vietnam War, would say artists are like shamans, a sentiment Leslie agrees with, further impressing on him the need to create uplifting art. His primary goal has since centered on entertaining and uplifting humanity through his art.