Artist Zane Lewis, an elusive and evolving talent, has remerged within the New York art scene with a fresh and new aesthetic. When you stand before one his newest works, among the Shatter Paintings collection, you are presented with a kaleidoscopic garden of glass, a reflective playground for the eyes. With a minimal, neo-conceptual execution his mirrored “paintings” offer a glistening ensemble of hued splendor. A discourse between notions of the “natural” and the “industrial”, due to organic reflections coupled with pre-fabricated found material, engages the viewer. Lewis also adds a twist to this aesthetic, in that each painting subtly renders human abstractions of life, death, and wraith of the intangible.
Lewis’ oil pieces Untitled (Black Cake Batter Study), 2010 and Untitled (White Cake Batter Study), 2010 present dichotomous realms of utopia v. dystopia. In Untitled (Black Cake Batter), 2010, blooming petals of sharp, broken glass retreat and remain in a saturated oblivion of wavy black oil paint. The ominous abyss holds swirls of antediluvian deluges that bound the slivered glass. Hues of teal, yellow, and pink sink into the oil and present luminous colors within the murky soil. Aesthetically, the oil-based medium instates a sense of intentionality, and a true grounding nature, which counterbalances the gestural sculpting and overall arbitrariness of form, which is a style found in both paintings. Ultimately, the presence of these contrasting, though complimentary, motifs of style and societal state, drafts an ironic sense harmony and balance, and in doing so, offers a multi-leveled appreciation for the onlooker to explore.
Meeting Zane to discuss his work, inspirations, and any stories I could drag out of him, was an absolute pleasure. We stopped by Roberta’s Pizza joint off the Morgan L and talked art, childhood memories, skateboarding, and the ungraspable concepts life throws at us. With an endearing hint of a Texas accent, Mr. Lewis answered a few questions of mine, shedding some “light”, on an even more scintillating subject.
Continue reading after the slideshow.
You are known mostly for your Drip Paintings or “art bleeding” pieces, when did you start this style and why were you compelled to make “art bleed”?
I made the first “drip” painting in late 2005. Before that I had been making sculptures and installations which incorporated colored liquids and mechanisms that dripped ink. I wanted to take that way of working and implement it into a painting. I was intrigued by the idea of a kinetic painting, but was struggling with wanting to use paint instead of the colored liquids I was accustomed to. The paint presented an obstacle being that it dries, so I couldn’t use it in the same way I had been using the liquids. Long story short, I developed a technique that cascaded many colors of paint at once without the paint mixing together into a single color or becoming murky. I figured out a way to make the paint always look wet as well. When I applied the cascaded to an image it would take on the appearance of the image bleeding or weeping, perhaps, so I ran with that…