Fine Artist Dorit Levinstein - A Sculptural Dance Through Space
Written by Lily Marks
Dorit Levinstein is a visual fine artist known for her colorful, airy sculptures depicting humans, animals, plants, and everyday objects. Levinstein’s unique, eye-catching sculptures require intricate attention to detail. They are light, stretched out and delicate, as if they are dancing whimsically through space. She depicts instantly recognizable faces in a fun way in works such as “Amy Winehouse’’ and “The Beatles.” She has also sculpted her own recreations of centuries-old paintings in her works “Mona Lisa,” “Venus (Botticelli)” and “Girl with a Pearl.” Levinstein has spoken on her biggest inspiration–Picasso–and how he has resonated with her throughout the years. “His humor, amusement, his genius, everything together…his curiosity is almost childlike. His freedom in his work is something I relate to. His love of life…he also knew how to play like a child, in a world of imagination.”
Born in 1956, she studied art & design throughout her life, eventually going on to teach. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1978 in graphic design and illustration, and a second degree in painting and sculpture. Levinstein’s body of works is categorized into three main periods: the “classical” bronze period, stone and mixed media, and, currently, the art of colorful linear figures. The common thread throughout has been an inspiration from Chinese philosophy: Levinstein explores the relationship between the self and the surrounding world.
She takes an innovative approach and uses one continuous piece of bronze to portray these subjects; certain facial features might be missing, but the point is to represent her subjects unconventionally, identifying them as distinctly Dorit.
Since Levinstein is both a painter and sculptor, the detailed paintings on her sculptures are integral to the artwork. The collective finished product therefore represents her artistic identity as a whole. Another signature attribute of each of Levinstein’s sculptures is an exposed section of bronze that has not been painted over. This reminds the viewer of the material she uses and the effort she puts into her work. The intentionally unfinished exterior makes for a thought-provoking artwork whose vibrant color palette simultaneously illuminates a space. Aside from recognizable, famous figures, she also makes sculptures of everyday objects like cacti (seen in her work named “Cactus Fantasy”), flowers (in “Sunflowers,” inspired by Picasso’s “Vase de Fleurs”) and sayings such as “Love” (portrayed in her work named “New Love”). One of her most famous and playful sculptures is “Renoir Dancers,” depicting a woman and a man dancing closely with each other.
Her work is intended to start a conversation with the viewer, which can be challenging if her work is exhibited all over the world. It poses the question of how art can be used to transcend language and cultural barriers: how do you speak to the viewer on a deep level when coming from an entirely different culture and belief system? This becomes an exciting challenge for Levinstein, though, as it gives her purpose and meaning during her creative process. She has said, “I make things alone at home in my basement and so when I see it out in the world, it’s very emotional and exciting.” The challenging aspects of the creative process are what propel her towards creating her best and most expressive works.
Although Levinstein’s artworks may seem like simple depictions of well-known subjects, they hold deeper meaning for the artist, as they become nostalgic representations of specific time periods in her life. She has a unique personal attachment to the subjects she sculpts, making the work highly personal and filled with depth and meaning.
She mostly creates on impulse, and therefore allows herself to flow with her instincts while creating. Her artistic process hardly involves any planning, which shows in the free-floating nature of her sculptures. When speaking on the process of turning her thoughts into 3D art, she has explained that “50% of my work is in my mind before I start to work. A scanner in my brain. Physically I take a wire or a string and start by “sketching” the shape. When I work, I am gripped by a strong concentration that allows me to almost never make mistakes. It always surprises me because it is specific to art. It might sound mystical, but it is almost as if it comes out of the sky.”
Levinstein’s distinct artworks have been exhibited in a variety of locations. She has been commissioned to create installations around the world: her outdoor sculptures often appear outside of municipalities. She is managed and exclusively represented by the internationally acclaimed Eden Gallery, which has locations in ten cities worldwide.