Lewis J. Crawford is a mixed-media photographer/artist and an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) for the University of Utah. He considers Salt Lake City, UT his home, but is proud to be a fourth generation Arizona native and second generation Arizona artist. In 2009, he earned a MFA in photography from the University of Utah and in 2005 a BFA in photography from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude.
After college, he has gone on to have several solo exhibitions, most notably at Finch Lane Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT, and Modified Arts in Phoenix, AZ. He has shown nationally and internationally as part of numerous juried and invitational exhibitions. In 2013, he was the recipient of a Purchase Award for the juried 26th Annual McNeese Works on Paper Exhibition. As part of the 2015 Utah Arts Festival and coLaborArt at the Leonardo in Salt Lake City, he did a collaborative installation with artist Chance Clouse, which is part of their permanent collection.
I call my work Marktitious Imagery. It is a semiotic examination into the reassignment of marks found in a human-made landscape. Everyone leaves marks, both physically and emotionally. The ones that interest me the most are overlooked marks: a random strip of duct tape, a buffed out graffiti tag or a crack in an unused public square. None of these marks would be there unless someone made the landscape for them to inhabit. I document these urban landscapes. I mix media and marks. I see stories in these marks. Sometimes I write these stories down. Sometimes I layer these marks. Sometimes I create the marks that go onto my photographs. Layers fascinate me. The build-up and juxtaposition of information creates texture, depth and inter-connectivity. I like to confuse the semiotics of the marks. The signifier does not necessarily define the signified. Fact and fiction merge. It is mechanical and digital. It is a transformation of social convention through documentation and manipulation, referencing new media’s theory of appropriation, deconstruction and reconstruction – sample, photograph, re-mix, layer, sample, and re-mix again.
It just depends on the marks.