Visual Dialogue of Peacocks:
A Presentation of Abstract Paintings
5/13, 6 p.m. • Tidal Creek Co-op
5329 Oleander Drive, Ste 204
Anyone who knows about the experimental group 910 Noise will be familiar with founder Ryan Lewis and his unconventional exploration of the arts. As with any original idea, there are those who adore it and those who scrunch their faces in confusion. Yet, Lewis is used to this reaction. As a small child, his flair for creativity was a headache for his parents. He admits he used to draw on everything, from the walls to the furniture to the television set, in an attempt to incorporate his whole world into his artistic vision—and all before the invention of Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser! “I was just trying to make things more exciting to me,” Lewis says. “Making them more appealing.”
Though he wasn’t alone in that endeavor—surprise crayon masterpieces are the trademark of small children, after all—he worked to foster the creativity throughout his life, unlike many of his growing peers. “In my opinion, many people outgrow creativity as they must assimilate into modern society,” Lewis says. As an adult, he succeeded in keeping that zest for beautifying the world around him.
The creator of Obscura Productions, Lewis set up the initiative to represent his paintings, a new film, 910 Noise and several music projects like the Hawaiian-style Food World and a bluegrass group, Baby Daddy. He first began Obscura as a way to express himself on a daily basis.
“It’s a small film, art and music venture of my own primarily just to express the things that were inside my own, heart and brain,” he notes. As a part of a diverse and inspiring art community like Wilmington’s, Lewis soon found his personal experiment would benefit from the involvement of others.
“Luckily, by doing this, I have met and worked with some very amazing and intelligent people along the way,” he says. “This has made the voyage worthwhile.”
Lewis’ painting portfolio is a collection of abstract storms. Some are color explosions, and others are understated grays and whites. Their connecting feature is that they are all products of an attempt to give shape to something invisible: sound.
“My mission as an artist is to get each and every vision, sound, word that I have to completion,” Lewis remarks. “It seems as though they are creating themselves, and I really am not in control at all. Most of my visual art has something to do with sounds in some shape or form.”
Translating his experiences to the canvas results in many layers. The paintings are tempting to touch. “It’s a diverse work of thick-textured, heart-felt and striking images; a visual marriage of chaos and minimalism.”
As for his film projects, the word “obscura” certainly fits. The short story entitled “Hayagriva” stars a man with a horse head, a meat baby and a suitcase full of colorful cassette tapes. The film is on Obscura’s website, www.obscuraart.com, and can be found as inspiration for many of his paintings, which are dotted with cassette tapes and film themselves. “It is inspired by the strength, power and joy of true love,” he says.
When asked where he comes up with his work, he simply answers: “I’ve always created since I can remember. I believe it’s a very natural human process to express one’s existence—it’s always there for absolutely anyone to explore.”