Kris Lewis began dreaming and flailing atop this lovely carnival ride in 1978, in the great surround of the Jersey shore. Growing up in a family that included 7 brothers and 1 sister provided ample fodder for his creative appetite, weaving an existence replete with love, conflict, beauty, tradition and classic Jersey brawls. Kris’ father provided the artistic gene and a glint of inspiration, but it was his mother who taught him the importance of hard work and dedication as he watched her raise an entire family alone after his parents’ separation. As an immigrant who had to flee from communist forces in her home country of Latvia, Kris’ mother also instilled in him a love for his Latvian heritage and its traditions, which are a major influence in Kris’ artwork. Other influences in Kris’ art include Alfonse Bougereau, Andrew Wyeth, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Klimt, Antonio Mancini, and Jules-Bastien LePage. His reverence for masters of old is apparent in his depiction of the human figure, which he uses as a vector for hidden stories, delicate emotion, and universal truth. His affinity for people-watching also informs his paintings, collecting glances, gestures, miens and hints and channeling them through the canvas for the viewer to share in the experience. After studying Illustration at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Kris eventually found himself living and working in Los Angeles, where he still resides and has yet to fully explore. His paintings have been featured in galleries in cities around the world, including L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Miami, London, and Hong Kong. His work has also been seen in the publications Juxtapoz and Modern Painters, and featured in the books Copro/Nason: A Catalogue Raisonne and Two Faced: The Changing Face of Portraiture.
“As I begin a painting the subject physically, emotionally and spiritually reveals itself to me. Each brushstroke speaks to the subsequent stroke, carrying out a dialogue, linking my subject and me as if we were meeting for the first time. I find this uncertainty exciting and embrace the indecisive nature of my work.”