© Myszka Lewis

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Myszka Lewis

Madison, Wisconsin

Artist Statement

My artwork presents shifted likenesses of structural objects, examining the distinctions between what it means "to make" and "to build". Making often implies a lowered level of seriousness, functionality, or necessity in the produced item, while building is utilitarian and purposeful, yielding something greater than the sum of its parts. Borrowing from the languages of both making and building, my work prods at the traditionally gendered connotations of these distinct modes of production and their assumed inherent value (whether monetary, cultural, or social). The boundaries between making and building are both ignored and complicated by the falsity of the items I create.

I make dimensional images of access (manhole) covers with suede and velvet. I build bricks from tiny stitches of colored thread. Both pulling from and complicating the art historical use of the tromp l'oeil method, the objects I create are false expansions of images. They are actually physically dimensional, but their visual qualities are derived from only a single linear perspective. The object-ness is simplified, constrained by the item's surface, to the site where the labor of production occurred, and by the limitations of object's image. Their hardness is not fully true. The image/object relationships within my artwork trick the viewer to assume an understanding of the shape of the object in one moment, and then the truth of the shape dissolves with a slight shift in perspective.

My practice spans printmaking, sculpture, and fiber arts with a dedicated attention to materiality and surface as the site of visual and conceptual revelation. My subject matter, material choices, and dedication to tedious working processes expose the tension between the industrial and the individual and address conceptions of certainty, familiarity, stability, and labor.

© Myszka Lewis

Myszka Lewis's Portfolio

Myszka Lewis, Access Cover 5, 2018, dye sublimation print on velvet with flocking on carved wood panel, 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 3/4 inches
Myszka Lewis, Access Cover 5 (alternative view from the side)
Myszka Lewis, Access Cover 3, 2018, dye sublimation print on velvet with flocking on carved wood panel, 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches
Myszka Lewis, Access Cover 4, 2018, dye sublimation print on velvet with flocking on carved wood panel, 35 x 35 x 1 inches
Myszka Lewis, Brick 157, 2018, cross stitch embroidery on cotton mounted to wood panel, 2 1/4 x 7 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches
Myszka Lewis, Brick 157 (alternative view from the front)
Myszka Lewis, Brick 159, 2018, cross stitch embroidery on cotton mounted to wood panel, 8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inches
Myszka Lewis, Brick 159 (alternative view from the back)
Myszka Lewis, Brick 163, 2018, screen print on linen mounted to carved wood panel, 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 inche
Myszka Lewis, Brick 165, 2018, screen print on cotton mounted to carved wood panel, 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches

© Myszka Lewis

Artist Biography

J Myszka Lewis is a visual artist working primarily in printmaking and fiber arts. Her work prods at the distinctions between what it means "to make" and "to build" and exposes the tension between the industrial and the individual. Addressing conceptions of certainty, familiarity, perception, stability, and labor, she produces images of hard objects using soft materials and crafts text based work in which words and phrases slip and sway.

In addition to her individual studio practice, Lewis is also one third of SPOOKY BOOBS, a feminist collective that uses art, language, and design to visualize the trivialization of women's experiences. SPOOKY BOOBS produces art installations, performances, social interactions, printed material, and social media campaigns with the mission to halt the perpetuation of sexism in our culture.

Lewis received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010 and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. In 2010, she co-founded The Parachute Project, a mobile arts initiative in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through which she co-curated large exhibitions and art events in abandoned spaces throughout the city in collaboration with local business owners and historians. Lewis is a nationally exhibiting artist and has recently participated in exhibitions at the International Print Center New York in New York City, the Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI, just to name a few. Lewis has participated in residencies at the Jentel Foundation in Banner, Wyoming and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska. She has been a finalist for a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship and has been published in Studio Visit magazine and Peripheral Visions journal. In 2018, she received the Edna Wiechers Art in Wisconsin Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Arts Institute. J Myszka Lewis is currently based in Madison, Wisconsin and is a curator at Tandem Press.



© Myszka Lewis

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