Artist Biography - Chris Levine
Originally from Canada, Chris Levine is an esteemed artist who is well known for his multimedia works which include light instillations, film, music and fashion. Levine’s work considers light not just as a core aspect of art, but of human experience more widely and a spiritual, meditative and philosophical edge permeates his work.
Levine studied at Chelsea School of Art... and Central St Martins. His artistic practice is differentiated by his multi-discipline approach which brings together many creative fields including music, performance, installation, fashion and design in a multitude of projects. He aims to inspire a sense of wonder in viewers, taking them to unexplored sensory and spiritual territory in the process using light itself as an artistic medium, working with laser, optics, LEDs and natural sources.
Levine’s work considers light as not only a core component in art, but in human experience more broadly. A spiritual, meditative and philosophical edge permeates his practice and he is perhaps best known for producing what is already being described as one of the most iconic images of the twenty-first century
One of Levine's most famous works captures The Queen in a meditative state, although still emanating light. Levine was commissioned by Jersey Heritage Trust to photograph The Queen in 2004 to mark 800 years of allegiance to The Crown by The Island of Jersey.
During the shoot, The Queen would pose with her eyes open for several shots, then spend 15 seconds with her eyes closed – resting. The Lightness of Being was captured during these 15 second relaxed moments. Levine was struck by the beauty of her meditative state and snapped the shutter. The unusually informal image has gone on to become one of the most iconic images of a member of the monarchy.
Amongst Queen Elizabeth II, Levine has captured Kate Moss, Grace Jones and Massive Attack. The artist has recently shot another historic portrait to both commemorate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday and in order to raise funds for the victims of Nepal’s recent earthquake. This was an honour, as he is only the second artist to take a formal portrait of His Holiness, the previous being Annie Leibovitz.
Summer 2010 brought a work commissioned from Chris Levine by the Genesis Foundation – a light-based cross installed in the former Holy Trinity Church on Marylebone Road in London.
Levine's exhibition Hypervisual 1.2, completed a tour of 12 countries with the British Council in 2012. The artist has also displayed artwork in London’s Science Museum and has staged both light performances and exhibitions internationally including spaces such as Radio City in New York commissioned by MoMA, The Eden Project, The Royal Opera House, MATE museum in Lima, London’s Fine Art Society and the headline installation at MOFO festival for Tasmania’s MONA museum.