Born in the US, Elise Lyon received her BFA from The Art Institute in North Hollywood, California. Based in New York, this 12 year veteran of the fashion industry applies her knowledge of textile design into her painting practices. Concentrating on abstract portraits, she uses the mulberry fiber to create curious worlds of texture on her canvases. Most recently she has shown works with The Indiana State Museum and is currently on display at Buckhead Art and Co. located in Atlanta, Georgia and Maison10 in New York City. You can also find her works showcased on Peacock’s TV show ‘Bel-Air’ and at Studio One in New York City for her solo exhibition 'Heirlooms'. A few notable collectors include musician T.I., actor Malik Yoba, actor Khalil Kain and Dr. Nana Mizuguchi.
My artwork celebrates social, spiritual and cultural differences. Often referencing the profound importance of self-discovery within these constructs, my work offers moments of contemplation. It explores the varying relationships between these physical and metaphysical worlds in hopes the viewer might expand their understanding of self in this liminal space.
Concentrating on abstract form, the use of shadow projection represents this identity in a metaphysical sense while movement, objects and color represent this identity in a physical sense.
Travel is an essential part of this process. I utilize this time to not only experience nature and its inspirational offerings but to meet people along the way. When I find someone who I connect with, I record and conduct an interview posing a series of life based questions before painting their portrait. This gives me a unique perspective of what it means to be human. The constant embrace of surrounding color and texture while experiencing the stillness within ‘self’, prompt me towards those extended moments of contemplation resulting in a new series of works.
By using repeated layers of hand-made mulberry paper and paste layered with acrylic, my process becomes sculptural-like giving the work a three dimensional quality. My studio process begins with soaking the mulberry bark until it becomes fibrous. It is then ground down and mixed with adhesives, powders and compounds to create a buildable texture. Some of the fibers are also then pressed to create paper. They are later painted on and deconstructed for a second time to contribute to the layering process. This is a representation of the cycles we move through as individuals understanding our character and the idea of self. Paintings can carry anywhere between 20-100 layers of paper and paste and take about 1-3 months to complete.