Lev L. Spiro’s photographs transport viewers into a world of darkness with the softest touch of colour. A clarity that guides the spectator to the sensation of walking through a quiet city at night.
Lev’s series draws inspiration from his trip to Japan in March 2023, and in his work, viewers can observe moments of Lev’s visual experiences. Daimyo Garden and Epiphany immediately attract attention to the majestic trees that recall the typical landscape of Japan. In the two images described, the viewer’s gaze is supported by pathways, once by the curving smoothness of a river and once by clean, big stones leading the way to visit the old tree. Daimyo’s Garden is characterized by two trees touching over a quiet river. You can imagine them telling one another a secret, whispering deep emotions through rustling leaves.
In Forest Litter, fallen flowers stain the forest floor shaped by intertwining roots. The absence of direct sunlight gives this work a darker meaning, evoking emotions of mourning and grief processes.
Rhapsody In Pink and Bamboo Forest have the richness of fresh green only nature can provide. Bamboo Forest instills a sense of anticipation and gratitude for healing movements worldwide. This image is filled with the clarity of lines that occur naturally in bamboo stalks and assigns this image with the deepest and clearest sense of self. In contrast stands Rhapsody In Pink, where the point of view spreads and is enlightened by the specks of colour resting on moss.
Lev’s photographs serve as mirrors of wisdom, soaking the viewer’s eyes with an understanding of the calmness and peace only found in nature’s power. Lev’s photographs echo the work of Elliott Erwitt—known for his black and white candid photos—on controlling light and shadow choices. On the other hand, the playfulness and the experienced eye that detects the perfect frame in the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson—a humanist photographer who viewed photography as capturing a decisive moment—are shared in Lev’s portfolio.
Beyond the beautifully chosen moments of landscapes, Lev’s work has an emotional ground layered with sparkling vision and the first tingling feelings of falling in love or embarking on a long-anticipated journey. The images are filled with life and reflect the entangling nature of Japan.
In addition to his photographic accomplishments, Lev L. Spiro is a well-known film director with a portfolio that includes over 160 films, television episodes, and pilots (Modern Family, Orange is the New Black, Weeds, and Arrested Development). He currently resides in California, and one of his latest exhibits is Night Creatures (2022) at the Botega Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA. Lev also shares his passion and expertise through workshops in an art photography course called The
Artful Garden at Santa Fe Workshops.
Lev L. Spiro is the Silver Artist of the ArtAscent Spring call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Spring issue.