Self-Portrait in Tub With Chinese Food        oil on linen, 44" x 44"      2009

Summer-Fall 2018 Featured Artist

Lee Price

American painter Lee Price focuses on the subject of food with the solitary female figure in private, intimate settings — figures that are always lost in what might appear to be the bliss of consumption in highly unusual environments and portrayed from a unique aerial point of view. This odd perspective creates an illusion or feeling of an out of body experience as if the subject is looking down at herself. While clearly demonstrating her amazing technical skills, the circumstance of consistently depicting female figures in the act of compulsive behavior tends to hint at an underlying message. Price’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group shows across the United States. She is represented by Evoke Contemporary in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Wendt Gallery which has showrooms in Laguna Beach, New York, Singapore, and Vienna. Lee currently lives and works in Beacon, New York.

Artist's Statement:
"There are two threads that my paintings follow: one being a discussion on women’s relationship with food, the other being a discussion on compulsive behavior. At times the two threads intertwine. The overhead perspective emphasizes the fact that the women are watching their own actions; watching themselves in the middle of their out of control behavior but unable to stop. The settings are private spaces, spaces of solitude, and mainly, unusual places to find someone eating. The private space emphasizes the secrecy of compulsive behavior and the unusual settings emphasize its absurdity. The solitude/peace of the setting is a good juxtaposition to the frenetic, out-of-control feel of the woman’s actions. 

One of the most potent messages these pieces deliver is that of excessive waste. Not just material waste but the waste of time and energy that is used up in obsession. Energy that could be directed towards productive endeavors, through our compulsive activity, is instead being used to wrap us in a cocoon. Where we could be walking forward, we instead paralyze ourselves. For the women in these paintings, even with an excess of food, there is no nourishment. Unable to sit with the discomfort/unease of the present moment, these women take in excessive amounts and in the process are shutting out the possibility of being truly nourished. 

Most women are brought up to be givers. To nurture others at the expense of our own needs. We hide our appetites, not just for food but in many areas of our lives, and then consume in secret. In my most recent works the women seem to be coming out of the closet. Eyeing the viewer — not censoring their hunger. My paintings ask what is it that truly nourishes us and how truthful can we be about the size of our hunger?"