Meet local artist Chris Lundy this weekend at Art on a Whim
Ryan Summerlin December 15, 2011
The energy and spirit of artist Chris Lundy constantly reflect the love he has for his home in the mountains. The paintings he creates in his Breckenridge studio reflect something much larger: his love for the universe as a whole. As a master and innovator of the Modern Illuminist technique, Lundy’s work is all about reflection.
Modern Illuminism is far from a common artistic style. In fact, research shows that Lundy is one of only a handful of people in the world working in the style. While contemporary in approach, composition and form, Modern Illuminism traces its earliest roots to Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald and later to masters such as Rembrant and William Turner. At its core, and at the core of every one of Lundy’s original works, Modern Illuminism is defined by the art of reflecting light through painting.
Lundy stumbled upon his artistic style through years of experimentation with a unique combination of materials. He combines epoxy resins with various mediums to create pieces that literally leave viewers in awe. A constant question in his Breckenridge gallery, Art on a Whim, is, “How on earth was that done?” Many viewers mistake Lundy’s works for blown glass, sand, geodes, or other beautiful, naturally occurring materials that have been manipulated and shaped into form on canvas. The reflective quality in Lundy’s work comes from the fact that his pieces are anywhere from a single layer to a dozen layers deep. According to fellow artist Leszek Forczek Modern Illuminist painters are, “… determined to create paintings in which there is a sense of space developed through the sequencing of color. Secondly, they cultivated luminosity, or at times an incandescent opalescence, which glowed from within the color.” This perfectly describes Lundy’s work, as layer upon layer of color glistens and refracts from the canvases he works on. Every Lundy piece changes dramatically with the amount of lighting shown on the painting, giving his work a chameleon like effect as it interacts with the light in the room in which it hangs.
Much of Lundy’s inspiration comes from the universe. He was drawn to the cosmos from an early age, ever since he found himself lost amongst the images he discovered in a book of photographs taken by the Hubble Telescope. As such, his work frequently resembles scenes from outer space and reveals the fascination he finds in the sky. The mountains of Breckenridge are a consistent muse for Lundy as well, with many of his works realistic abstractions of the beauty that Summit County has to offer. Lundy moved from the Gulf Coast and settled in Breckenridge a little more than a year ago. Watching the inspiration found in his work transition from the ocean to the mountains has been fascinating. The glue that holds Lundy’s collection together and truly separates him from his artistic counterparts is the multi-dimensional, luminescent, color changing, light refracting properties found in every new creation.
One of the constant characteristics in Lundy’s work is the passion that he pours into every piece. Lundy says, “I love this beautiful Earth on which we live and I choose to reflect the love I have onto canvas for all the world to see.” The appreciation Lundy has for his collectors certainly shows as well. On Monday of this week he rushed off of the mountain after a day of snowboarding to personalize and inscribe a piece for a new collector. His signature inscription reads, “Much love from the mountains! – Chris Lundy.”
This weekend Lundy will be taking a break from volunteering at the Dew Tour to mingle with collectors and art appreciators alike at the Art on a Whim gallery. At the young age of 27, Lundy’s character is just as fascinating as the artwork he creates. He is a multi-dimensional human being, fascinated by and always learning from the world, while striving to give something beautiful back to it on a daily basis. He will be in the gallery all weekend explaining his work, and you might just catch him demonstrating his techniques as he works on a brand new piece.