photo by Meghan Strell

[ other work by Charlie ] [ email ]

CHARLIE LEVIN  I am a visual artist working in theater – not as a designer, but as an artist making live paintings. I believe strongly in the power of visual theater as a form in which the visceral immediacy of seeing a live person in front of you (theater) meets the reflective, metaphoric power of visual art. I am committed to the visual as a means of communicating deep content, not limited to decoration or backdrop. I find that using real materials onstage provides an infinite possibility of metaphor with a texture unmatched by traditional theatrical illusion. We are saturated by virtual images today, bombarded by TV and advertising and spin. I want to revitalize image as a place for reflection, not distortion. I want to offer people images based on real materials, real textures, real skin, enlarging our attachment to each other and the world. I want to make images for this image-savvy society — not in flashing lights, but in full textural reality — images that take people in slowly and return them, in the end, changed.

I came into theater through the back door. One day my figure paintings became installations incorporating the movement of the people inside them. It was a short step to collaborating with performing artists to plan specific juxtapositions between the person and the space. In Meghan, I found someone who proves that it is possible to collaborate without one person leading and whose differences enrich, complement, and enlighten.

I studied fine arts and philosophy at the University of Michigan.