We recently had the chance to have a brief chat with Kris Lewis regarding his recent show at David B. Smith Gallery. Topics included themes in his works, his influences and inspirations, and the use of symbolism. We were also tipped off about the soon release of one of the paintings “White Flag” from the show as a print (seen after the jump).
Arrested Motion (AM): Tell us a little about this new body of work. Are there any themes or messages you are trying to get across?
Kris Lewis (KL): In some instances, the new works consist of both ideas and questions about everyday life and our own mortality and what we decide to do with our time. Other pieces are more personal to my own life as well as studies for works in progress. Many ideas will be elaborated on in future works.
AM: You often talk about your childhood and how your mother and grandmother were major sources of inspiration for your work. We see that many of your paintings, especially in this show feature a female character. Can you tell us more about kind of influence they had on your work and what about them are you trying to express in your work?
KL:: The struggles and triumphs of my mother and grandmother do play a large part in both the strength and fragility of many of my female subjects, but I’m not always trying to express something in particular about them. It’s something that comes from the heart, an idea of what their personal struggles have meant to me and the decisions I have subsequently made. Understandably, this isn’t necessarily for the viewer, but more a set questions I’m presenting for myself in my quest of being a better human being.
AM: You are obviously a student of art history and often use symbols referenced from sources like the Renaissance or the Bible. Do you have any of that going on in this body of work that you can point out to us?
KL: The symbolism of fire and the use of the ocean to represent Isolation or devastation (flooding) are used in these works.
AM: We enjoyed and thought the Grammy show you curated was a big success. Any other projects you are planning on curating in the future?
KL: I enjoyed working with Will.i.Am on the “Worlds On Fire” project. We will begin working on another “Worlds On Fire” benefit show some time real soon. The theme of the show and artists involved are in the works. I’ll definitely keep you guys updated. We all greatly appreciated the support and coverage by Arrested Motion for the 1st show and would love to have you back in the house for the next opening.
AM: We would love to be back for the “Worlds On Fire” Part II.Â Thanks for your time. For our readers, you can see all of Kris’ work for this show here.