Comment from artist Dave Curtis
While much of the last 30 years is a blur, one event that stands out is the day I first viewed the paintings of Leslie Folksman. In 1996 Leslie had been invited to display his work at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, but he had sold so much that he had little left for the show. He instead turned his solo show into a group show, inviting David Heatwole’s fledgling Transcendental Arts Council, of which I was a part, to show alongside him. It was a great show, as all these young, imaginative and talented artists worked well within their own limitations to produce quality pieces. But we were clearly in the presence of a Master, as Leslie seemingly had no limitations. His paintings went beyond photo realism in that they had incredible depth, as not only do his creatures escape the two dimensional plane to advance upon the viewer, but one felt as though it were possible to pass through the canvas to reach behind those creatures and objects. Every hair on every feather in flight could be inferred, and lines of motion seemed natural and not at all contrived. Never before had I felt so intimidated by another artist in a group show, and it was with immense pleasure that I learned years later that Leslie had noticed my work, amongst the dozen plus artists in the show, as being worthy of his own respect and admiration.
Mr. Folksman has several topics he explores in his work they are somewhat fantastical and yet surreal or dreamlike. From simple scenes with only one animal appearing to fantasy landscapes to fun whimsical, sometimes humorous, characters of his own device. Most of the subjects in his paintings, even the flying bananas, feel so real they can be considered hyper-real or in some cases meta-real. Simply fantastic!
Asides from being a great artist, Leslie is also a very memorable personality with an infectious laugh, brash mannerism, and always ready with a response which is an interesting contrast to his work which is soft, airy, and symbolic with lots of room to breathe. A pure beauty to behold and collect!