Austin Lee is arguably one of the most iconic artists in terms of mixing digital and analog processes to produce his work, exploring the interesting dichotomy between the real world and virtual reality. He defines himself as both a pure geek and a painter. sing a clever mix of abstraction and figuration, always tinged with a certain absurdity that borders on madness, much of his production evokes all the strangeness that can be found on the internet.
He is not just a simple artist: by his innovative techniques, he is one of the artists who shakes up and advances the art world. Lee uses virtual reality software and 3D printing to design his sculptures. The same inspiration is used for his canvases, which he paints using spray paint and conventional brushes. The saturated colors and exaggerated contrasts he employs are also reminiscent of the early days of the internet. It would be quite possible to describe Lee’s work as «postPop’Art», in the sense that while Andy Warhol used printed images to combine with paint, Lee combines the latter with the latest technology, creating work that is as contemporary as possible while remaining physical.
One cannot help but notice this important contrast between paint and technology. All artworks are very imposing, and yet there is a sense of lightness about them: full of strength, the panther in Run (2022) doesn’t even touch the ground, Whistleblower (2018) startles us at first glance only to seem softer later on, while Mirror (2022) looks like it’s straight out of a video game – it could fly away in a breath.
“In my lifetime, I’ve seen innovations in software and hardware change the way humans interact at a rate that’s hard to keep up with. With every new technological expansion comes positive and negative side effects. Isolation mixed with mediated interaction, subversive advertising, facing overwhelming tragedy alone and through a screen – these are just a few of the confusing and disconcerting experiences that are difficult to adapt to and underscore our need for authentic connection.” – Austin Lee