I was trained as an academic painter in concepts of scene-building, life-drawing, and formal construction. My subsequent work, however, appropriates source material from film, television, and other mass media outlets. In this series, I have appropriated disregarded moments in film, pressed pause, recorded the frozen image through my camera, and used the resultant photograph to create my paintings. These works follow in the tradition of Luc Tuymans, Judith Eisler, and Tina Heiska to name a few, who, in their rendering, negate traditional Academic Painting’s role of seducing the viewer into the image. My content presents the look of mass media images, and mimics film’s grain, contrast and distortion. I aim to communicate a sense of friction between the material of the painting and the mediated source material. I aspire for my work to combine the human touch of painting with the clinical look of the camera, as viewers are simultaneously aware of the look of photography, the look of video, or the look of a low quality computer screen image and, all the while, that the object presented is a painting.
My work advocates that perhaps the general public is better trained to respond to digital imagery and screens and monitors than to academic painting. Yet representational painting can incorporate this stratum of source material into its content. I am convinced that traditional academic painting cannot touch upon reality in a convincing way if it continues on its path to idealize screen technology out of its framework. As a result, my work looks at ways contemporary mass media borrows configurations and content from painting, and then my own work borrows from contemporary mass media.
Andrew Leventis is an oil painter who references imagery from film, television, and other mass media outlets in his work. He earned a BFA in Painting from the American Academy of Art in Chicago and an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. His work has been featured in Norway at Kunstgalleriet, and in London at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Matt Roberts Arts, and The Griffin Gallery. In the US, his work has recently been exhibited at George Billis Gallery in New York and Artcore in Los Angeles. Andrew is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.