Erica Reed Lee is a visual artist based in Houston, Texas. Her work explores the relationships between place, memory, and human behavior. Lee’s process is based in drawing and extends into large-scale paintings. In 2019, Lee completed the New York Studio School Drawing Marathon taught by Graham Nickson. In 2020, Lee joined the Glassell BLOCK program, an advanced studio program led by Francesca Fuchs and Laura August.
With my work, I investigate the self’s relationship with place. While physically in one place, the individual is in reality navigating two places – an interior and exterior landscape. I paint and draw to juxtapose these experiences, and I construct books to reclaim them. In part due to the pandemic, I have stripped down my palette to red and blue. I have chosen to use only red and blue as my colors because they are primary yet very different. Red is organic, direct and sensory. Blue is cold, distant and lifeless. Working with red and blue, I contrast interior and exterior experiences, navigate the doom of the Covid-19 pandemic, and reconcile the increasingly polarized political climate of 2020 in the United States. In addition to my paintings, I create books, smaller and more intimate than my paintings, as an act of reclaiming ownership of memory. I revisit and expand upon experiences that have occurred in the past in a tactile format, the book, to disrupt technology’s omnipresence in daily life. The work is process-oriented and a means of emancipating memory from the dominion of digital platforms.
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