Joe Lewis



The first was an accident of circumstance and resources. I was in Quemado, New Mexico. It was hot. I was hungry. I’ve always loved the same kind of ice cream.

I had spent the night at Walter DeMaria’s Lightning Field, an installation featuring 400 stainless steel rods placed evenly over a 1 mile x 1 km field. At sun rise and set, when viewed at a distance, the otherwise unseen steel rods turn visible as the sun reflects off them toward the observer.

The works in this project were inspired by that visit, by thinking about our relationship with the invisible, with things that surround us yet evade consciousness. Using tools like time and memory, we can forge relationships with the invisible to create a deeper understanding of our present.

As a social statement, the materials for this work are cheap and ubiquitous. The popsicle itself – strawberry shortcake in particular in my case – stands in for the past. It is intended as a visual connection to youth and as a conduit for both the artist and the viewer.

Of primary concern is the need for the project to have a vast amount of locations as setting. The focus of the portraits are site specific to memory, not an individual space. Experience becomes memory as details take on lasting meaning and those varied landscapes, at that moment in time, become indelible.

In an overly captured culture, incredible landscapes one encounters can blend into one generally pleasant feeling, even while the site specific details of those locations are forgotten. When you take pictures of ice cream, you have a finite amount of time before your materials cease to work for you. The inclusion of a deadline can’t help but introduce a looming possibility of failure. The otherwise sedate act of portraiture takes on an inherently thrilling aspect by means of this ticking clock.

As an artifact of the event, the work captures that movement as the popsicle lingers, mid-melt forever.

The works are intended to be viewed at close range.



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473 25th Street
Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612


473 25th Street
Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612
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