In ‘Pavarotti, My Own Story’, Luciano Pavarotti gladly said, ‘One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.’ Lee Price could be said not only to have paid heed to Pavarotti’s words but took it one step further. She included the joyful engagement of eating into her everyday painting creating delectable works of art.
It was back in college that this idea first occurred to Lee Price. A scene of a tea party taken directly from the pages of Alice in the Wonderland was not exactly working according to the liking of the artist. An impulsive decision led her to lie down on the antique table cloth on ground with all the food from table around her and to be photographed by a friend that way. It was her first foray into the world of self-portraits accompanied by little else than food.
Lee Price completed her studies and received Bachelor of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA, 1990. Growing up in a women centric environment where she lived with her mother two sisters or being friends with the likes of Alyssa Monks, a definitive influence, it was natural for Lee to have gravitated on women-centric subjects.
A subject of ‘nudity’ is sure to polarise opinions among the viewers. The artist herself does her best in minimising the focus on the topic when she says matter-of-factly, ‘The women are mainly in tubs. It makes sense that they would be nude.’ At a deeper level she also believes, ‘… that the obsession we have with our bodies has more to do with creating a distraction from living our life and dealing with more profound and complex difficulties than anything else.’
To begin with Lee Price’s subjects almost always seemed to be having an aversion of seeing the audience face to face. However, with time the protagonists of her work show a greater inclination of confronting the audience, ‘A coming out of the closet, an acceptance of actions.’
Lee Price does not shy away from saying that food is her obsession. She is a vegan and loves cooking lots of greens and beans. Her favourite books include ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl and ‘Siddharta’ by Herman Hesse. She likes watching ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Little Buddha’ whenever she manages time to. She is also very fond of hiking the hills surrounding the city where she stays.
Lee Price’s two decade long career is inundated with honours including George Sugarman Foundation Grant, 2007; Elmira Regional Art Society Award, Regional 2005, Arnot Art Museum; Best Work in Oil, Regional 2004, Arnot Art Museum. Her recent exhibition in Evoke Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico closed with a resounding success.
All signs show the artist to be merrily busy with, ‘Green leafy happiness and cherry-red life, bursting with seeds’ accompanying herself on canvas.