R enowned for his work with lights, laser and holography, Chris Levine has built a cult following with his iconic portraits of some of the most photographed women of all time, including Queen Elizabeth II, Grace Jones, and, as presented here, Kate Moss.
Thanks to Levine’s deft handling of lenticular printing, we are presented with an overall sensory experience and visual offering of the supermodel that has more in common with an art-historical muse than one of fashion and celebrity that dominates our pop culture.
In this lenticular lightbox, She’s Light (Pure), Moss is depicted against a stark white background. While we move around the piece, we are able to appreciate the delicate and pale nature of her skin, her eyes shut and lacquered lips. This image allows Levine to portray the fashion Muse as an effect of light. The way Levine shoots the model is identical to his depiction of the Queen. As a result, we stay away from the stereotypical image of the fashion and cultural icon, and appreciate it as a pulsating and meditative work.
As Levine puts it, “I think [these images] struck such a chord because it’s going somewhere into a more spiritual dimension and into a deeper realm," he says. "It’s what we are but people don’t very often connect with it." By using lenticular technology, this notion of depth and true immersion into the artist’s mind is accentuated. The viewer is able to interact with the piece by circling around it and appreciating its inherent meditative energy.
Chris Levine, She's Light (Pure), 2014
Through this experience, we find ourselves understanding a new idea of Kate Moss, away from the pre-established conception in our minds. As Levine describes about this shoot, “Every opportunity I got [to shoot a portrait], I tried to distill it back to just pure essence.” Levine’s work is immersive and by extension transformative, often focused on a collective experience that enhances awareness of the present moment, and our connectedness to one another. Kate Moss radiates a calm and stillness that dominates her languid eroticism here, which is usually the prevailing motif in representations of her. In a pose reminiscent of a classical bust, this work is both an homage to classical emblems in art and a veneration to the technical advances in art that allow us to experience art in new ways.
“There’s a spirit in Kate that seems to have struck a chord with so many. To take her beauty and translate it into light as image was what I set out to do. Given all the images that have ever been made if her, I needed to take it beyond beauty and somewhere deeper. Her true beauty is within and that’s what I hope is projected in the form of light.”
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