b. 1970 Canada
MA Central St. Martins School of Art, London, UK
BA Chelsea School of Art, London, UK
Lives and works in UK and Ireland
Chris Levine is one of the most in-demand contemporary artists working today. In 2004 Levine made history when he created Equanimity, the first ever 3-D holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust to commemorate 800 years of allegiance to the crown. In 2012 Equanimity was featured on UK postage stamps and £100 commemorative bank notes to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This celebrated image appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. Levine’s series of portraits of Her Majesty are now iconic and have come to define a generation. The portraits Lightness of Being and Equanimity were central to the exhibition, The Queen: Art and Image at London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2012 and were seen by over half a million people.
Levine is at the forefront of contemporary popular culture: working with respected figures from the worlds of fashion, music and art. In 2010, Levine was celebrated for his portrayal of the iconic Grace Jones in the exhibition Stillness at the Speed of Light. In 2013 he worked with Kate Moss to create She’s Light, a new series of portraits of the world’s most famous supermodel. The artist produced a site-specific lenticular light installation; She’s Light (Pure) for Selfridges in London. Levine continues to focus his eye on subjects known for their greatness or iconic status. At the end of 2013 he created an exceptional portrait of the unbeaten £150million British thoroughbred racehorse, Frankel. The artist was commissioned to create a portrait of barrister, politician and broadcaster Baroness Helena Kennedy: the lenticular image was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in November 2013.
Levine is a groundbreaking artist. He employs a distinctive visual language that combines advanced technology, beauty and philosophical reflection. The single thread that runs through his oeuvre is light - from light sculptures that exist as dramatic and poetic interventions in space, to portraits that use transitions of light to powerful and meditative effect. Levine uses light in diverse formats such as laser, holography and LED (Light Emitting Diode). Technology is a means to an end for the artist. He is concerned with the inherent power, beauty and spiritual dimension of light. The effect of his work is synesthetic. Levine’s work explores and rewires our sensory perception. The artist creates new visual and auditory adventures for the viewer to participate in.
Levine has worked collaboratively on multi-disciplinary projects to achieve innovative and unparalleled sensory experiences. Working with the British electronic trip hop group Massive Attack at Glastonbury Music Festival in 2008, he used laser projected through oscillating prisms, and LEDs directed at the viewer’s peripheral vision. Using the transformative power of laser light, Levine showcased his experimental sound and vision work entitled iy_project* after Razorlight and Paul Weller performed at the Eden project in 2009. In 2012, Levine collaborated with Antony Hegarty on Swanlights an ethereal performance combining music and light commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Hegarty performed with the 60 piece New York Symphony Orchestra while Levine produced an experimental laser light installation projected onto a crystalline sculpture. Swanlights has now been performed to critical acclaim at Radio City Music Hall, Melbourne Festival and The Royal Opera House in London.
Levine has received commissions from organisations such as Cartier, Swarovski and Mario Testino for Tom Ford. His work combines progressive technology and artistry in a distinctive visual language that is both poetic and ultramodern.
The artist’s work is included in notable private and public museum collections across the world including the National Portrait Gallery, London; Saatchi Gallery, London; Science Museum, London and the Annenberg Foundation, Los Angeles.
Chris Levine is represented by Collectors Contemporary.