Interview with the artist: Linda Lewis

Interview with the artist: Linda Lewis

Just for a little introduction, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1997 from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, USA. At the time, I worked in “fiber arts,” which is a medium just like drawing, painting, or sculpture. I utilized fibrous materials, and many traditional techniques used by women in their homes.

During my study, I received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Danish Design School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Additionally, I received the graduate school’s highest award, the Nathan Cummings Foundation Summer Travel Fellowship. This award allowed me to travel to any destination in the world. My trip included Croatia, Romania and Turkey. I developed an extensive exhibition record that includes national and international exhibitions.

However, after moving to Texas in 2005, I gradually switched to creating digital artwork.

How would you describe your work for those who aren’t familiar with it? 

I create digital photomontages that are composed in Photoshop. Images are selected from a variety of sources: public domain, donated, personal, creative commons and purchased. Hours are spent searching for images that spark ideas for development. I generally work in a series format, and this series was created specifically for Galleria Ex Machina.  

The Art Authenticator – image © Linda Lewis

What is your creation process like? How do you find the ideas in your dreamlike images? 

The one constant in my artwork has been my desire to present a critique of or a social commentary on culture. I am particularly interested in the history of ideas and the development of ideological systems. This bent is largely the result of my university studies in sociology and anthropology. However, after achieving a graduate degree in sociology, I realized that I preferred to represent my ideas and opinions visually rather than academically.  

“It is the humor and spectacle that derive from a post-modern mash-up of fashion, machinery, safety equipment, and doomsday clocks that fascinates me.

Going Out In Style – image © Linda Lewis

You very often work with Steampunk imagery. What aspect of Steampunk appeals to you the most? 

When I was asked to exhibit my artwork at Gallery Ex Machina, I was surprised. I wondered how my artwork fit within the genre the gallery specializes in. It was pointed out to me that I was utilizing steampunk imagery in my art. That intrigued me, so I began to research the topic. I realized Steampunk imagery would be a wonderful vehicle for expression. However, more than that, it is the humor and spectacle that derive from a post-modern mash-up of fashion, machinery, safety equipment, and doomsday clocks that fascinates me.  

Imagine My Surprise – image © Linda Lewis

Your works depends heavily on the use of technology. How do you think the new technologies of the future will affect the future of art? 

New technologies have always informed artistic practice. They hold the possibility of astonishing us in unexpected ways and revealing our world in a fresh light. It is not enough that we are solely impressed by the spectacle of a new medium. Our challenge, as artists, is to push the boundaries of visual art by examining our past. Ultimately, we must create art that seamlessly integrates the technique, the concept and the aesthetic.   

Time Warp – image © Linda Lewis

All images of the artworks belong to artist Linda Lewis.

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