light, rail / 14:33 minutes
Artist name: Barton Lewis
A study of light reflected onto the New York High Line by vehicles passing underneath — years before the elevated railroad became an urban park on Manhattan’s lower West Side.
BARTON LEWIS Biography/Curriculum Vitae Barton Lewis was born into a family of artists and teachers in Urbana, Illinois, and started making films in the 4th grade after his parents gave him a Super 8 movie camera. After graduating high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts he moved to New York where he received a B.M. from The Juilliard School, studying music composition with Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt. He then went on to receive a B.A. in English literature from Columbia University. Barton briefly pursued a career in musical theater after college, but devoted himself to filmmaking full-time in the 1990s. His films deal with natural light and its interaction with various materials and elements, such as metal, wood and water, and with the urban industrial landscape. Public showings of his work include the following: Paris, 19 Jul 2012: “a building” screened on the rue Quincampoix during StreeTVideOart, an international art action consisting of a number presentations of emerging video art in an urban context, organized and presented by Art TV; Bayrischzell, Germany, Tannerhof Hotel and Gallery: “awning, Bridge Street, Navy Yard” has been selected to screen at an as yet undetermined date in 2012; Portland, OR, May 26, 2012: “East River Pavilion, Upper East Side, New York City” screened at the Portland Experimental Film Festival; New York City, December-January 2011/2012: stills from “East River Pavilion, Upper East Side, New York City” selected for an online exhibit curated by Tracy Fitzpatrick (curator, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY) in the Curate NYC competition; New York City, June 19, 2010: one-man show at Millennium Film Workshop.
My objective as a filmmaker is to explore the aesthetic properties of the physical world through everyday phenomena, finding beauty in unexpected places. My first films were about natural light and its interaction with various materials, but my more recent work explores the urban landscape in states of decay and neglect. I work in 16 and Super 16 mm film; place a premium on the filmed image and seek to replicate my works in other formats as closely as possible to the film original, capturing that medium’s unsurpassed quality, manifested in image sharpness and color saturation. A consistent and unified vision of what constitutes beauty – as manifested to our eye and ear – in mundane or even traditionally “ugly” material; attention to detail and technical standards; and a minimalist approach to presentation of the subject matter, all characterize my work. My current project is “films for the home,” a series of films about the urban landscape in states of decay and neglect, concentrating on abandoned industrial sites in Brooklyn.