By Sheryl Aronson
On March 25th, the prestigious Salon, Artlab in Santa Monica debuted the stunning and intriguing work of multi-media Artist, Cameron Lee. As one walked through the doors entering the Artlab, a vibrant kaleidoscopic of colorful flowers decorating the step and repeat, set the celebrative tone for evening.
Upon the walls, 14 pieces of the “Flores Fatales” were hung, pulsating with lush sensuality and captivating images. Cameron Lee and his husband, Rigel Gemini, a social media influencer, were the creative duo that produced the exhibit.
The final art pieces included 14 digital collage portraits of a diverse range of models who represent a spectrum of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Each piece was named after the model. Using digital collage, layers were grafted onto the portraits to create a vibrant, imaginative world. Cameron, was responsible for every photographic shot in the pieces which included flowers, exotic reptiles, and arachnids. When Cameron was a child, he watched his Puerto Rican grandmother create paper collages of her tropical homeland, which inspired the style and content of the project. The art pulls inspiration from artists like Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt, and present-day artist James Jean.
Christine Peake, of the Peakprgroup, brought her expertise to the evening’s festivities and guests were treated to Deep Eddy cocktails and Honest Teas.
The Hollywood 360 had the opportunity to interview Cameron Lee and discuss his creative endeavors.
The Hollywood 360: How did you create your artwork?
Cameron Lee: All this artwork was created in collaboration with Art Lab, LA Fashion Week, myself, my husband, and some of the amazing models who walked the runway for LA Fashion Week. It all started through a connection that my husband, Rigel Gemini, a social Media influencer, made at LA Fashion Week. With that connection I ended up here, The Art Lab. They told me they frequently help artists promote their work and thought it would be a good idea to partner together. One of their lead stylists, Beth was able to do all the hair and headpieces for the artwork. I also partnered with Exotic Reptiles in Fountain Valley to photograph all the reptiles that are in my portraits. Everything was photographed by itself. The models were photographed by themselves, the flowers, the reptiles. They were all digitally collaged later. Everything is a one of a kind piece that was thought of in my mind to bridge Fashion, Art, Nature, Diversity and celebrate Spring.
The Hollywood 360: Please talk about what mediums you are using to create your work.
Cameron Lee: It is multi-media and digital collage. It is bridging my two worlds of fine art, my classical background in painting along with photography.
The Hollywood 360: What is your background and training?
Cameron Lee: I went to University of Wisconsin. I got a degree in Fine Arts there. I studied studio art…everything from drawing, ceramics, sculpture, print making, some film. My background in Fashion was from San Francisco, where I was a commercial model and I was also a Production Manager for a Luxury Magazine. I learned everything behind the scenes with photography and taught myself. The world of photography and fine art were often separate for me. When people would ask me if I was a photographer or an Artist, that was often hard question to answer. I decided to take a step where all those facets of me came together.
The Hollywood 360: Talk about your use of color as it pertains to this Art Exhibit.
Cameron Lee: The Spring Equinox just happened so we are celebrating that today. It’s in honor of Spring. I am not afraid to use lots of color. I am very affected by color. Nowadays, in terms of Instagram, we see a lot of toned down filters that people are doing to add a vintage effect to their photos to give a feel of history. I think things can be historic but still celebrate vibrancy and not seem dull. I want to celebrate vibrancy, life, nature and color…And also to bring happiness to people.
The Hollywood 360: Talk about a few of your pieces that stand out for you.
Cameron Lee: All of my pieces were named after the model who posed. One of them is named Amanda and I based her picture on my fondness for Frieda Kahlo. It is reminiscent of Kahlo’s style in terms of what Amanda is wearing and I incorporated animals too. My Mom always promoted Frieda Kahlo’s vibrancy and cultural history of the Art to me as a child. That influence has stuck with me. Another piece is named Lena who is of Japanese descent. I represent Tokyo Pop Art in this picture. I also have a man named Tim that represents “dapper style.” With each piece I try to zone into a feeling, and a sense that the individual is coming through. There is a cohesiveness to the work, I want each person who views the art to find themselves in the piece and feel connected.
The Hollywood 360: Have you worked together with Rigel before this exhibit?
Cameron Lee: This is the first time I worked with Rigel, my husband. He is more of the logistics behind everything. He took that over so I could focus on the Art. In a couple of months, we created 14 pieces of Art work. We started planning it at the beginning of January and shot in February so we could have the show in March. It was a whirlwind but it was worth it. I am so appreciative to the stylists, the models, LA Fashion Week.
The Hollywood 360: Is the Art for sale tonight.
Cameron Lee: Yes. They are all limited prints and can be bought at the front desk. We also have bags, shirts, cell phone cases…accessories.
The Hollywood 360: What else would you like to say about this evening?
Cameron Lee: I hope everyone can come here tonight and celebrate life, each other, and be one with one another. That’s what this art exhibit was all about – combining forces of creativity and ideas. Even though the pieces may seem chaotic or really full of content, you are still able to find peace and contentment with everything around you.
I found myself being mesmerized by these superb works of Art. I got lost in their sensuality and richness of spirit. Spring was definitely in the air filling the atmosphere at the Artlab with the joyful hope of a new season.
Follow @cameronleeart on Instagram and see his art at cameronleeart.com
Follow @rigelgemini on Instagram and read his blog at rigelgemini.com
Press Inquiries: Christine@peakprgroup.com
All Art images © 2017 Cameron Lee
Photos by : Sheryl Aronson/The Hollywood 360