C hris Levine’s work is notable for its diversity: he produces installations, photography and light performances and he has collaborated with such artists and figures as Massive Attack, Kate Moss and Grace Jones. His portraits, which have featured such famous figures as the Queen in his now-iconic Lightness of Being and His Holiness the Dalai Lama bring a new dimension to established subjects, investing them with an almost other-worldly quality, at once intimate and at a mystic remove.
"I seek to purify my work through all stages of creativity to produce something that resonates in the sensory realm that it is perceived"
Two of the works that feature in Sotheby's online sale are the transcendent Parabolic 1.3 [Pink], and Light is Love: both are light installations which represent the most recent area of Chris Levine's practice. We asked Chris to tell us a bit more about the significance of these two works:
Parabolic 1.3 [Pink]
Chris Levine: I seek to purify my work through all stages of creativity to produce something that resonates in the sensory realm that it is perceived. I’m often working with spheres and parabolic curves as in this piece, and there is a visual power to the work that is amplified by the harmony of its physics. As well as reflecting a sensorial pink purple light onto the viewer, the work has an acoustic property, collecting and focusing sound in its vicinity. This piece literally has a calming effect on those who linger in its presence.
Light is Love
Chris Levine: The persistence of vision phenomena is something I’ve been working on for many years. What we call a blipvert has become something of a signature piece in my language of light. This particular piece from my Light is Love series is arguably the most effective I’ve made using a new tweak to the technology. It’s a technique I pioneered in live sets with Massive Attack, Grace Jones and Antony and the Johnsons. The artwork, a beautiful minimal line of light set behind a semi silvered sheet of glass, projects the word LOVE into mid air as if it were a visual echo. It has to be seen to be believed. The video only hints at its wonder.
Chris Levine's Installation, Light is Love: