Artists Jen and Rob Lewis are getting real bloody -- and not just for Valentine's Day
You can find art all over town -- not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.
In honor of the heartfelt holiday ahead, husband-and-wife duo Rob and Jen Lewis are offering up Bloody Valentine, an abstract macro-photography art show that runs through February 28 at Rooster & Moon Coffee Pub. The display, curated by Jen, explores traditional images associated with Valentine's Day (hearts, flowers) through human blood.
This isn't just any old human blood, though. Jen, whose background is in art history, wasn't interested in traditional mediums like oil or acrylic. She wasn't even that interested in making art, actually, until she became fascinated with the patterns and shapes that her menstrual blood took when emptied into the toilet from a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup called the DivaCup. "Just from using the cup and emptying it into toilet, I found the interplay between blood and water really interesting and wanted to catch it on film," recalls Jen.
"When I was in the bathroom, I was finding myself wanting to share what I was seeing with other people," Jen continues. Still, it took her weeks to muster up enough courage to ask her husband about the merits of photographing her blood drawings.
Chalk it up to his passion for skateboarding, a pastime fraught with gnarly gore, but Rob immediately gravitated to the idea. The self-taught photographer and videographer has "always been really drawn to process and problem solving," he explains, and so the task of capturing blood in water was intriguing.
"Jen has this ability to see beautiful and interesting images," adds Rob. "I knew if Jen was seeing something in the blood, there was something to it." With that, the two began experimenting with ways to capture Jen's periodic art.
The result was a long-term, ongoing project the couple calls Beauty in Blood.