Lorena Levi describes her work as narrative portraiture, with subjects drawn from a variety of definitively modern sources including online chat rooms, internet review sites, podcasts and printed media. Levi illustrates these accounts to create compositions which display part real part imagined stories, providing the viewer with curiously intimate snapshots of these strangers’ lives. Levi executes her figures with precise detail, painting with oil directly onto wooden board. She often leaves her backgrounds blank, allowing the incidental qualities of the organic material to form part of the composition. This experimentation with absence and presence of paint, material primacy and picture making, seems to chime with the juxtaposition between constructed narrative and truth in the exploration of her subjects.
Levi completed her degree in fine art at Edinburgh University in 2021 and is participating in the RSA New Contemporaries 2023. She was awarded the Astaire Prize and the 2022 Jackson Painting Prize. Recent solo shows exhibitions include MAXXED, MAMA, London (2023), The in between, Nicole Zisman, The Sidings, London (2023), Would give zero stars if I could, The Alchemy Experiment, Glasgow (2022).