I create paintings which use figure, color, light and composition to explore stories of feminine identifying people. With invented, chromatic worlds, I am referencing stories of mythological goddesses and playful experiences with my friends. I often use beautiful, bright colors I identify as feminine, such as hot pinks, teals, and yellows, that unapologetically asks for the viewer's attention through saturation. I am also interested in the way light can play a character with the forms by bringing nuanced shadows and illuminating the atmosphere. Using high-key pigment or pointed light I create surreal worlds that are made recognizable with representational colors and nameable objects. The compositions I use to hold these ideas are derived from my Midwest upbringing and often reference places of home for me. The figures are found dawdling in fields or dreaming by water. Sometimes they are found in houses, lounging inside the womb of a structure. Historically, both settings have been spoken of as feminine representations. In society the interior is seen as a domestic space, typically set aside for women to care for. Throughout art historical narratives, specifically in the Renaissance and Baroque era, the conquering of land was symbolically seen through illustration of the capture or rape of the female nude. Showcasing disrobed porcelain bodies being swept away within a dreamy landscape of blues skies and atmospheric mountains. I find myself simultaneously inspired by the ethereal worlds these artists have created and driven to protest their use of the female figures as an object to please the male gaze. My work utilizes the circular composition, commonly used in renaissance painting, ensuring the audiences engagement with the surface. The circle functions as a structure in painting as well as a representation of the menstrual cycle. My paintings resist the way the circle allows the viewer to examine a nude body for personal pleasure and instead is inviting the eye to move through stories of women who hold their own autonomy.
Eva Lewis’ work centers feminine identifying people and representation of their bodies in public places. Her work aims to juxtapose the use of a female body in settings and landscapes commonly seen in Renaissance and Baroque compositions and change the understanding of how, why, and where these figures most comfortably hold themselves. Placing the women in a setting where they have no forced prejudices and are allowed their own autonomy. The paintings are imagined scenarios using bright colors and separating worlds with tone, pigment, or mark. Each work tells a story of women in moments that are only dreams of a place in which the female figure was never personified as an object to anyone else but themselves.
Lewis is currently pursuing her MFA in Painting at Boston University, expected graduation in Summer 2022. She holds a BFA in Painting with minor in Art History from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. She has completed a Residency at Mount Gretna School of Art, Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania.
April 1 - May 1, 2022