About the Artist:
Artist/Designer Kris Lee owns and operates WildSide Studio, located in Salida, Colorado.
Lee has been represented by galleries in Breckenridge, Vail, and other regional resort areas for the past 20 years. Lee's work may be found in numerous residential and corporate collections throughout the U.S. and worldwide. WildSide Studio is represented internationally by Singulart Gallery, Paris, France.
Tank and Bungee
I am always experimenting with conventional and unconventional media. I seem to have a need to electrify much of my work, for reasons not entirely known to me. I am fascinated by watching unlit artwork dramatically transform into something ethereal when lit at night, with the focus shifting from color and texture by day, to line and composition in darkness.
I typically sculpt rice paper in relief, paint the negative space with acrylic pigment, and overlay that with a vast array of media. Pieces are then backlit with LED lights attached behind the canvases, or occasionally woven within the pieces. This creates essentially two very different pieces of art in one, unified by concept, but completely transformed through the use of electricity.
My use of color and subject is generally symbolic. Recurring themes in my work reflect my lifelong passion/obsession for life in the Rocky Mountains, and nature in general. I find myself repeatedly using images of aspen trees, mountains, and indigenous birds/insects, exploring our human place within the natural world.
In addition to endless inspiration from nature, other influences include: Old Masters, J.J. Audubon, junkyards, Dale Chihuly, oil refineries, Sheila Hicks, prehistoric cave art, Louise Nevelson, anything having to do with New Orleans, Wu Guanzhong, Mark Rothko, Gothic fountains, Annie Albers, Maria Martinez, Isamu Nagouchi, hardware stores, Alexander Calder, street graffiti, Harvey Littleton, classical music, Carolyn Nelson, Kevin Redstar, crystal chandeliers, Claes Oldenburg, and pioneer cemeteries.
I enjoy contrasting organic and industrial materials. A piece might include cardboard, chicken wire, freshwater pearls, fabric, porcelain...anything really. I particularly like to use pieces of broken, hand-blown glass in my work, piercing the canvas to create bright areas of gemstone-like color when backlit. I usually make my work on canvas as three dimensional and highly textured as possible, attaching sculptural elements, or piercing and cutting the canvas.
I work to create art that engages the viewer on multiple levels - intellectually, emotionally, and/or aesthetically. As an artist, I endeavor to be fearless, always experimenting, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into the wild.
- KRIS LEE
WildSide Studio is a proud member of the following non-profit organizations: