Multi-Talented Artist Shows Two Projects This Summer
by rachel felder
Andrew Levitas will have a gallery show in the Hamptons and in Manhattan this summer.
It might seem cliché to describe someone as a “Renaissance man,” but, in the case of Andrew Levitas, that’s really the only label that fits. After all, how else do you accurately sum up an enterprising 34-year-old who paints, sculpts, shoots photography, writes, directs, and acts? This summer, he’s channeled all those talents into two standout projects: a pair of gallery shows—at Gallery Valentine here in the Hamptons and Phillips de Pury & Company in Manhattan—and a film he’s written and directed that’s been shooting this summer called Lullaby, starring Jennifer Hudson and Amy Adams. “Making this film at the same time as building two exhibitions, my time has been so full,” says Levitas. “I’m feeling really fulfilled and fortunate.”
The Gallery Valentine show includes large pieces that are a hybrid of photography, painting, and sculpture. Using a unique technique he’s developed, Levitas melts huge images (sometimes shot digitally, others from film) onto metal sheets on which he has previously hand-etched designs. The resulting pieces are assertive and commanding; they somehow feel simultaneously traditional and modern. “It creates a living, breathing work of art,” he says of his process. “It’s a still image, but it moves and has depth; part of the process allows it to really live.”
Even though he’s excited about his upcoming film, artwork is Levitas’s true passion. Yet whatever the medium, he has a healthy disregard for critical approval. “I’ve never been overly concerned with people’s response to my work,” he says. “As long as I can elicit something that makes people consider themselves, the world, or the subject matter, that’s enough.”
Although Levitas shuttles between his studios in New York and Los Angeles, when he needs to unwind, he heads to his family’s home in Sagaponack. “It’s for vacation or healing,” he says of the home he’s been visiting since childhood. “Whenever I need to check out, I stay there. At this point, it feels more like home than [anywhere] else.”
photography by Zev Starr-tambor