Profile: Painter Basmat Levin
Our friends at Art Republik, who are at Art Basel in Hong Kong right now, chase the rainbow with Basmat Levin.
“Color is the oxygen of my imagination,” says Jerusalem-born artist Basmat Levin. “It transforms emotions and blows through my heart like a hurricane.” Indeed, the painter can be described as an artist who seeks color and inspiration in her travels, and one who aims to create work straight from the heart.
Levin recently showed her incredible installation ‘My Magic Wall’ under Leo Gallery at Singapore Art Stage 2016. Her striking 20-meter installation involves a collage of over 30 oil paintings from different stages of her career. Levin skillfully weaved together portraits, carpet designs, and simple shapes to create her overall masterpiece. A myriad of themes styles, such as magic and power of togetherness, are vividly portrayed in this cohesive technicolor blanket of emotions.
“Levin paints with emotions… her work expresses a kaleidoscope of feelings that come from the soul, giving her paintbrush a heartbeat that sends pulses of color and energy across her canvasses,” comments global consultant and existential poet Daniel Jeffreys.
The artist currently lives and works in Shanghai, where she has gained outstanding recognition for her portraits. She attempts to capture the fears and fantasies of living in Asia through the faces of the friends she chooses to paint, and employs a dynamic palate of textures and colors to do so. Her portrait collection for her two Facebook shows in Shanghai Monganshan Road galleries, Gallery 99 and Tangram, featured a collection of her friends through a series of large-scale paintings based on photographs she took while walking around the streets of Shanghai.
“I just took photos of everybody I know, I always have a camera with me,” says Levin. “Some people write about people, but I paint them. I had an exhibition of all my friends together. It was all about faces.”
Levin’s reputation has spread throughout Asia, as well as the United States where the artist frequently works. A recipient of the Charles Revson Fellowship from the New York Studio School of Drawing and Painting, her work was on display at New York’s Elizabeth Harris Gallery, and at DOT.51 Gallery in Miami, among others. She is also making a splash in the fashion world where her Prada-esque palate has captured the attention of fashion designers like Poesia’s Chris Chang and Shanghai Cobblers, whom the artist has since collaborated with. Levin’s paintings have even been featured in major motion pictures like ‘Dinner Rush’ and ‘Suburban Girl’.
“Light endows everything with vibrant colors, creating a rich prism of refracted emotions,” says Levin. “I don’t want people to see my work – I want them to feel it.” Her portraits are individually striking, but offer greater insight into the depths of the human spirit when viewed as an entire collection. The use of colors, textures and gestures she synthesizes within her paintings express a powerful and positive energy that will speak to any like-minded adventurous soul.