Interview: Lee Lessem
Luca Curci talks with Lee Lessem, one fo the winners of the ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JUNE 2020.
Born on a farm in Africa and surrounded by the majesty of natural beauty, painting has always been an excellent medium for me to test the tension between the real and the abstract – what we perceive and that which truly exists. My Toronto studio is located high above one of the most glorious parks in Ontario and I wake every day to the magnificence of nature at its best. I am an abstract painter – constantly excited by everything that we see but most often don’t notice. There is a delicate balance between fluidity and structure, softness and vitality, transparency and solidity, mystery and clarity in my art. To paraphrase Cicero: “Man not so much creates as discovers and rediscovers”. I hope to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them and to discover beauty in extraordinary places. My abstract paintings give the observer the freedom of interpretation and it is my hope that my work affords the viewer an experience as unique as they are.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Lee Lessem – Creating art is as natural to me as breathing. My hope is that my paintings are meaningful, inspirational and engaging to others.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
LL – I am inspired by nature. I always have been and imagine that I always will be. I am an abstract painter – constantly excited by the world around me that we all see but most often don’t notice.
LC – Did your style change over the years?
LL – My style has never changed but my technique has become more refined.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
LL – Making art for others to enjoy as much as I have loved creating it. My art often has a deeper significance that most people may not realize. My abstract paintings give the observer the freedom of interpretation and it is my hope that my work affords the viewer a unique perspective of the world around us.
LC – What is your creative process like?
LL – My studio overlooks a magnificent park which provides me with limitless inspiration. I analyze and abstract what I see onto my canvas.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And contemporary art?
LL – I believe that an artist can lead, uplift or provoke with their creations, depending on the subject matter. I prefer to stir positive emotion with colour, form and texture. I hope to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them and to discover beauty in extraordinary places.