Artist Louis St. Lewis has painted with his own blood, sculpted with human bones and been kicked out of six art schools.
His newest collection — free of blood — is featured at Franklin Street boutique Toots & Magoo this month.
Lewis, who has lived in Chapel Hill since 1984, has gained an international reputation and keeps impressive company, photographed by pop artist Andy Warhol and praised by former Vogue Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley.
St. Lewis’ exhibits have been featured across the country and, beginning Sept. 10, have returned to his longtime home of Chapel Hill.
Friday night was the opening reception for St. Lewis’ show, “Rock and Royalty.”
“Rock and roll and royalty are all very decadent, so when you combine them together, you have the ultimate in decadence,” St. Lewis, 49, said.
Dressed head-to-toe in a textured Versace suit, St. Lewis was just as lavish as the exhibit itself. The show features pieces ranging from intimate paintings on mirrored surfaces to large-scale collages reminiscent of 18th- and 19th- century art.
St. Lewis is optimistic in the face of difficult economic times. The downturn has provided him with an opportunity to re-brand himself and rethink the creative process, he said.
“When you are pushed into a corner you either give up or you come out fighting,” he said. “I’ve come out fighting.”