Kris Lewis: "We're going south"
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Richard Kreitner


The Montreal Review, November 2010




The most perfect state of water is when the ice cubes are just forming,

and the water in the center is not yet entirely frozen.

The outside of the cube is hard enough to crack it out of the tray,

but as it slaps into the glass I can still see the water

swishing defiantly against the walls inside -

making it perfect for cooling down my pre-dinner whiskey,

for it is large but will melt quickly in the warmth of its new world.


I am what Saul Bellow called a first-class noticer,

or, rather, what he might have called a noticer-in-training,

if he'd lived long enough to happen upon the phrase.

It is at once something I cannot help but do

and also a persona I choose daily to assume;

the whiskey is part of that persona,

and the ice probably is too.



Richard Kreitner is a third-year philosophy student at McGill University (Montreal), originally from outside New York.


Illustration: We're going south ( oil on linen, 30 x 30 in) by Kris Lewis.

Kris Lewis began dreaming and flailing atop this lovely carnival ride in 1978, in the great surround of the Jersey shore. Growing up in a family that included 7 brothers and 1 sister provided ample fodder for his creative appetite, weaving an existence replete with love, conflict, beauty, tradition and classic Jersey brawls. Kris' father provided the artistic gene and a glint of inspiration, but it was his mother who taught him the importance of hard work and dedication as he watched her raise an entire family alone after his parents' separation. As an immigrant who had to flee from communist forces in her home country of Latvia, Kris' mother also instilled in him a love for his Latvian heritage and its traditions, which are a major influence in Kris' artwork. Other influences in Kris' art include Alfonse Bougereau, Andrew Wyeth, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Klimt, Antonio Mancini, and Jules-Bastien LePage.

"As I begin a painting the subject physically, emotionally and spiritually reveals itself to me.  Each brushstroke speaks to the subsequent stroke, carrying out a dialogue, linking my subject and me as if we were meeting for the first time. I find this uncertainty exciting and embrace the indecisive nature of my work," says Kris about his work.

For more information about Lewis' art go to:


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