Interview with Chris Levine, visual artist

Chris Levine, creator of iconic Lightness of Being, releases new exhibition at Sotheby's. 

Interview with Chris Levine, visual artist

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I’m Chris Levine, an artist working with Light and using it to dig deep into the nature of reality. The deeper I’ve gone the stranger but more beautiful it gets.

What is the premise of Chris Levine: Be Light?

Einstein says we are all compressed light. Then let’s be Light in this heavy world.

You have used a selective number of works for this exhibition. Why did you make this choice?

I’m often hard to categorise. Light is the common factor throughout all my work and this capsule selection is something of a cross section through my practice.


You’ve worked a lot with light. What are your thoughts on light?

Light is something we often take for granted but it’s an energy and phenomena fundamental to how reality works. To contemplate and meditate on Light can take us into a mystical and beautiful realm. Stillness is a portal and meditation the key. 

Did you face any particular challenges whilst curating this exhibition?

It’s a challenge to summarise my scope of practice with a small number of works.

I wanted to offer some special pieces that worked collectively as a whole. It would be wonderful if this collection were kept whole as it is a good tight overview of my work in its different forms. 

What do you hope visitors will take away from this exhibition?

To spend time with my work can literally change your state and take you into a meditative space. If but for a moment it’s a positive feeling.

How did you get into an arts job? Have you also worked outside the arts?

I’ve never had a job and working as an artist has been feast and famine. I always believed I had something to offer and never lost faith in my abilities when times were tough. 

During your time as an artist, have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?

There’s so much creative cross-fertilisation and what defines art in the modern world is evolving and changing rapidly


You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?

Believe in yourself and keep close to the sense of instinct. I think the real intelligence is in the heart - follow it.

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?

I feel blessed to make a living as an artist and pursued it in quite a driven way. Looking back some time spent in a professional studio or creative business would have given me tools I never had when I left art school. I barely knew what an invoice was I must have skipped that lecture as boring but looking back an understanding of business practice is essential in whatever field you work in.


Sienna James

Sienna James Assistant Editor

Sienna is the Voice Assistant Editor and author of the Creative Education series. A de-caf coconut-milk latte gal who spends most of her time in Cambridge cafes, Sienna is currently on a gap year before studying History of Art at the University of Cambridge.

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