Angela Leyva




The portraits presented here arise through the investigation and reinterpretation of a clinical archive that belongs to Dr. Leyva. This file consists of the photographic record of several patients, mostly children, who present congenital alterations in their features.

Access to the archive was granted under two conditions:

1) To never reveal the patient’s identity, and 2) Denied access to the clinical history of any of the patients.

It was the search to make those erased faces and stories apprehensible that led the artist to work with painting, the perfect medium for appropriation. The image transfer delivers the structure of the being, of what was their soul, to put it some way, allowing for its new construction. And then, the oil and pigment endow the new flesh for these characters, sustaining them in the world of matter, as if bringing them back to life.

The result of this process is a series of somewhat blurred, vailed paintings. Paintings that show an “unfinished” or canceled process, that appeals and resonates with the feebleness of the identity of a person once archived.


Ángela Leyva (México, DF. 21/03/1987)

Ángela Leyva (Mexico City, 1987) Lives and works in CDMX, she is a visual artist, who uses painting to create portraits that are sustained by the narratives of different individuals and their particularities.

She is a graduate of the ENPEG “La Esmeralda” (2006-2010). She is currently studying the Master of Visual Arts at UNAM. She was part of the 2019 generation at SOMA Mexico, and of the Multiple Media Seminar (2013-2015) and she was part of the Gilberto Aceves Navarro Drawing Workshop (2006-2010).

She has been part of several individual and group exhibitions in places like: Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City Museum, CDMX Museum of Modern Art and Toluca. In 2019 she participated in the Twelfth Puebla Biennial, and in the V Edition of the Julio Castillo National Biennial. In 2018 she received the honorable mention at the XVIII Rufino Tamayo Painting Biennial and obtained the painting acquisition prize at the XXXVIII National Meeting of Young Art. In the periods 2020-2021 and 2016-2017, she is the recipient of the Young Creators / FONCA scholarship. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she has been a beneficiary of the PECDA of the State of Mexico FOCAEM. Her work has been written in media such as El Heraldo de México, El Reforma and La Jornada.

Her work is part of collections such as Moisés Cosío, among others.

Instagram: @angelaleyvago


My work revolves around the creation of portraits. These are built through inquiring into the narratives of different individuals and their peculiarities, as well as investigating their objects and/or archives. I consider these personal fragments as vestiges or clues to be rebuilt. These places provide me with the substance and matter to structure a series of works, which become poetic metaphors of the subjects themselves.

My work reflects upon the individual as the minimum unit of society, and as an inexhaustible source of inquiry, which can establish the guidelines to understand our different contexts as humanity.