Lia Chavez Studio, 2017

On an unusually warm July evening in 2016, Lia Chavez presented Light Body, her first live dance performance. As twilight faded into dusk, the artist led a balletic procession of effulgent bodies through a firefly dotted forest.

Light Body refers to the practice in which Tibetan Buddhist meditation gurus transform their physical bodies into new, rainbow-colored energy forms after many years of practice. For her performance, Chavez imagined this advancement into another realm through a process of visual choreography which conceived the live figure within the art- historical tension between pictorial form and abstraction.

This intimate process of plumbing the formal synergies between optics, meditation, and improvisational dance is an ongoing theme for Chavez. The visual culture critic Andrea Codrington Lippke captures these themes in her essay, Foolish Fire, Holy Fools and Thoughtful Paths, featured in this limited edition commemorative volume alongside photographic documentation by Ira Lippke.

Lia Chavez: Light Body was commissioned by actress and activist Isabella Rossellini as the first performance on her farm in Brookhaven Hamlet, New York.

Essay by Andrea Codrington Lippke. Photo documentation by Ira Lippke. Published by Lia Chavez Studio in Brookhaven, New York. 2017. Hardcover. Casebound, with endpapers. 6.5 x 9.5 inches. 46 pages. 13 large color illustrations throughout. Limited Edition of 100. Signed by the Artist. $90.00.


Damiani, 2013

The photography monograph, A Thousand Rainbows, gathers a body of photographic work by Lia Chavez that explores the nature of interpersonal and spiritual relationships through the manipulation of light.

This rebelliously non-digital photography highlights Chavez’s approach to performance for the camera. Her photographic light is founded upon an observation of fundamental physical phenomena such as time, space, motion, and light. 

Adopting the metaphor of dark matter from astronomy and cosmology, the photographs relate to a new way of understanding photography to incorporate the visible effects of invisible presence. According to Chavez, “from observing the physical universe, we know that form is the manifestation of relationship between two forces. I recreate this dialectical drama - between myself and my model. I am present within each frame dressed in black as a stagehand as I invisibly direct and illuminate the process.” This book discusses the science and mysticism underpinning her art, specifically examining Chavez’s treatment of the nude as a vehicle for exploring a topology of the universe. 

Essays by Andrea Codrington Lippke and Mark Sprinkle, with a forward by the artist. Published by Damiani in Bologna, Italy. 2013. Hardcover. Casebound, with endpapers. 6.5 x 9.5 inches. 96 pages. 60 color illustrations throughout. ISBN 978-8-86208-299-0. $40.00.

Our book launch event took place at Donna Karan’s Madison Avenue Boutique in New York on December 12, 2013. Our event featured an artist lecture, book signing, and a fundraiser for the non-profit art organization, Performa. Special thanks to Andrea Albertini, William T. Hillman, Affirmation Arts Fund, Donna Karan, Seth Whalen of PTL Events, Kristen Somody Whalen, and our team responsible for helping us achieve this vision.


Affirmation Arts, 2008

The monograph, Hillman + Chavez, features the collaboration of William T. Hillman and Lia Chavez.

Thirteen large, unique photographic works explore light and space, while abstractly presenting the figure as form. These innovative photographs combine photographic and photogrammic techniques. As catalogue essayist Gary Sangster writes “For Hillman + Chavez, the lure of light coupled with the lure of the body - in particular bodies in motion or bodies under tension, physical or psychological - is accentuated through the elaboration of a new, hybrid photographic technique that enmeshes digital photography, with traditional photography and the static silhouette system of the photogram.”

Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name, by Affirmation Arts, New York. Essay by Gary Sangster. September 2008. Casebound, with endpapers. 40 pages, 405 x 325 mm. ISBN 978-0-89207-369-6.