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Born in New York City in 1953, Leslie Lew grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and Chicago. Her father was a well-known advertising executive and her subject matter was influenced by the commercial ads and products that surrounded her. Her underlying theme deals with childhood memories, growing up in America. She examines American culture and how it reflects on our tastes historically – good and bad.

Lew received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This is where her idea of “sculpted oils” first developed, manifested through her supermarket paintings. Inspired by her father’s work in advertising, the product labels and aisles in the supermarkets were a wealth of inspiration for the artist. Pop-culture items like food packaging and comic books became the foundation of Lew’s subject matter. Using icons like Wonder Woman or Dick and Jane, Lew reaches back through the pendulum of American culture, wringing out childlike moments that many have too-soon forgotten.


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