Andrew Levitas looks pretty tough until he takes off his sunglasses. Then he relaxes his muscular frame and begins to act a little bit more like the prolific mixed-media artist that he is: sensitive, sincere, and engaged with his surroundings. At the moment, our surroundings happen to be a French restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but Levitas is already nostalgic for his studio back in the Hollywood Hills. “Some days I wake up at four o’clock in the morning, go surf, write for a couple of hours, paint for a couple more, and then go out and shoot photos,” the 33-year-old New York City native says of the free-form, cross-disciplinary process by which he creates his work. Levitas originally moved to Los Angeles in 1998, where he forwarded his burgeoning career as an actor after a stint on the soap opera As the World Turns. He landed a number of small film and television roles but never gave up his interest in the visual arts, which had been germinating for as long as he can remember. Levitas still has a talent agent, runs his own production company, and co-produced a drama called Homework, starring Emma Roberts, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released this summer. Still, he managed to spend part of last summer in New York staging a solo show in the Hamptons. Levitas’s work is both elemental and elusive, a blend of genres and materials that he considers a form of painting. “Everything is built by me,” he says. Levitas’s technique involves printing his photographic images onto sheets of metal for a glossy and rugged result. “I have a real problem with artists who farm their shit out,” he adds, sounding a bit more like that tough guy he initially appeared to be. “The great thing about being a painter is that it’s probably the most honest profession still left out there.”
Photos: Andrew Levitas in Los Angeles, July 2010. Top left: Andrew Levitas’s Annie’s Song, 2007. Courtesy of the Artist. Coat: Michael Kors. Sweater: Dolce & Gabbana. Grooming Products: Shu Uemura Art of Hair, including Satin Design White Tea Polishing Milk. Styling: Ryan Hastings. Hair: Tony Chavez Using Shu Uemura Art of Hair/Frank Reps. Makeup: Darlene Jacobs Using Lancome Paris/Frank Reps. Special Thanks: Siren Studios.
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