There is no doubt about it – Lisa Leone is hot in the streets. The streets of LA, the streets of NYC, she’s just hot right now. Coming off a very successful solo show at HVW8 in LA, Lisa’s latest show, THEN dominated the art scene and captivated the hip hop community. THEN, a collection of personal portraits taken in the late eighties of the world’s biggest hip hop artist such as: Snoop, Notorious BIG, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Tribe, the Roots, and many more. It was the photos from THEN that caught my attention about Lisa’s work. However, I had no idea what I was getting into. Lisa is truly an artistic genius. Born in the Bronx, she has worked for British Vogue and VIBE. She was the cinematographer on videos for TLC, The Brand New Heavies, and VA’s own D”Angelo. She has worked with and been mentored by Stanley Kubrick. In addition, Lisa has made her own films and even co-directed one of my favorite documentary movies of all-time, “Just For Kicks.” I reached out to Lisa and she was gracious enough to answer my questions for the Cheats Movement.
If a person walked up to you on the street and asked you what did you do for a living – you would say?
I would say that I am a filmmaker/photographer.
I knew I was in love with photography when…
…when I realized I can tell a story with one image.
For me, filmmaking is a way for me to……
…express feeling, light and beauty…a full expression.
THEN was/is a very personal solo show for me because….
…it’s where it started. Personally as a photographer, but also the beginnings of a movement. When I was at HS of Art & Design and Fabel, Wiggles, and Doze were dancing in the hallways we had no idea it would become a world wide phenomena. Seeing people react to these photos 20 years later is pretty incredible.
While directing “Just For Kicks” the illest pair of sneakers I saw were (fill in the blank) and they were worn by…
hummm, that’s a tough one…I’d have to say the custom painted ones really blew me away…the detail was sick.
Right now I’m working on…
…getting THEN published. There area lot more photos to be included. I’m developing a feature film which I’ll direct. I’m also working with an amazing organization called Young Arts. They bring together master teachers and high school kids to work within 9 different disciplines of the arts. Check it out… youngarts.org
My inspiration comes from….
…so many things….nature, life, friends, dancing!
The best advice I’ve ever received….
It’s not advice that was given to me, but something I observed…when I worked with Kubrick I learned that it was ok to say, I don’t know. Sometimes when we’re on set or in the midst of the creative process we always think we have to know everything at that moment…how to light it, where the camera goes, etc. Sometimes you don’t know and it’s ok…it will come.
Thanks Lisa! Check out Lisa’s work at www.thereallisaleone.com.
Keep checking back…The Cheats Movement X RVA X WE SEE IT!