Multi-disciplinary artist Chris Levine is internationally acclaimed for his pioneering multimedia pieces which have been exhibited in significant public collections including: the National Gallery, London, the Science Museum, London and the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh. Five of his works are on display in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Levine’s work explores the multidimensional possibilities of lenticular technology, using lens and light to transform and reveal more about his subject in response to the angle from which the piece is viewed.
“Light is intrinsic to the way we perceive reality and by working with it, particularly with laser as a very pure form of light, I do get the sense of tuning into a deeper realm of awareness,” he says.
His most famous work is his ground-breaking image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, ‘Lightness of Being’ which was described by the national portrait Gallery as “The most evocative royal image by any artist.”?Informal, relaxed and intimate, ‘Lightness of Being’ is one of the most familiar images in the history of royal portraiture. During a moment of rest at an official portrait sitting at Buckingham Palace, Levine was struck by the beauty of the Queen’s face in repose and took an unplanned photograph. When Her Majesty gave her personal permission for it to be published, it made headlines all over the world and has become an iconic part of our royal heritage.
Levine has an active and established secondary market, and his artworks continually garner impressive results at auction. ‘Lightness of Being’ was first published in 2008, and in the last 15 years Levine has published various iterations in different colourways and media.?Since then, it has regularly sold at auction for as much as triple its estimate; in 2017 the original sold for £187,500 at Sotheby’s (more than double its pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000), while in May 2022 a silkscreen print sold for £225,000. In December 2022, a unique print fetched €300,000 (£265,000) – the artist’s record sale to date. Beyond ‘Lightness of Being’, his highly sought-after chromogenic lenticular image of Kate Moss entitled ‘She’s Light (Laser 3)’ sold for £115,875 at Christie’s, London in 2013, and in 2019, his portrait ‘Banksy’ sold for almost 10 times its estimate at Sotheby’s.
Levine’s impressive status and pioneering works have led to high profile collaborations with Massive Attack, Asprey, Eden Project, Hussein Chalayan, and many others. He has staged light performances and exhibitions in Radio City in New York (commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York), The Eden Project, The Royal Opera House, MATE museum in Lima, and London’s Fine Art Society; an exhibition featuring his work, Hypervisual 1.2, completed a tour of 12 countries with the British Council. As well as his famous portrait series of the Queen, he has captured iconic images of Kate Moss, Grace Jones, Banksy and the Dalai Lama.
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