b. 1994, United States

Amani Lewis Biography

Amani Lewis is a Miami and Baltimore-based visual artist. Their brightly coloured portrait works explore themes such as family, nature, social justice and what it means to be Black in the United States.

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Early Years

Lewis was born in 1994 and grew up in Columbia, Maryland. They studied at Maryland Institute College of Art and graduated in 2016.

Amani Lewis Artworks

Amani Lewis' work centres around portraiture. Their portraits celebrate and uplift their black and queer communities. Their work has overt political meaning, referencing fights for social justice and in particular racial justice.


Portraiture is the central method of Amani Lewis' art. Their distinctive style is maintained in all their portraits, including their works The Color Red (2018) and Celestial Kiki: Ode to LitLiv (2021).

Lewis' portraits are often busy, layered and distorted. In The Color Red, acrylic and oil pastel are layered in dizzying lines over digital collage. For the artist, portraiture goes beyond being a likeness; portraits are a method of paying attention to the subject, they are maps of an inner world. Lewis considers them to be living objects and a way to honour friends and family.

Negroes in the Trees

Negroes in the Trees (2020) is one of Lewis' most significant bodies of work. Through a series of portraits, the artist explores ideas of Blackness and relationship to nature.

In Negroes in the Trees #1, a Black man leans with one hand over chest and another up against a tree. In the background, bright orange, green and turquoise foliage creates a natural cacophony. Each of the portraits is generated by a photograph of a person which is then distorted and saturated to create a heat-map effect. Lewis then adds to these digital prints with layers of paint and other textures. Lewis outlines the subjects' features with a continuous line, reminiscent of tangled roads and pathways.

The Negroes in the Trees portraits incorporate natural elements such as trees and flowers, which blend into the urban background. Lewis addresses the ways that, even after 'The Great Migration'—a period of Black exodus from the largely rural South—Black people in Baltimore remain connected to nature. This relationship to nature is celebrated through Lewis' joyful use of colour and the attention they gives their subjects through layers of work. As well as this, Lewis challenges the conception of 'nature' as rural and aims to blur the distinction between what is natural and what is architectural.

Google Collaboration

In 2021, Lewis created Google Collaboration with Black-Owned Businesses. The digital work highlights products created by black-owned businesses. Maintaining Lewis' signature style, the work depicts three people relaxing and using various products which are tagged in the image. Visitors to the Google Shopping page can then scroll down to find the products online. The artist is intensely interested in uplifting the Black community and Black businesses.


Amani Lewis has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

Exhibitions include Art as Politics (2016) and The Art of Engagement (2017) at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, and B_LACK VOICES / BLACK MICROCOSM_ (2020) at CFHILL in Stockholm. They also showed work in BLACK VOICES: Friend of My Mind (2020-21) at Ross-Sutton Gallery in New York.

Lewis' work also includes several solo shows. In 2019, they exhibited Amani Lewis: Subjective Nature at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh. In 2021, Lewis opened a solo exhibition at Salon 94 in New York titled Nothing Remains the Same, which focuses on portraiture of themself and their family.

Website and Instagram

You can find Amani Lewis' website here and their Instagram here.

Vida Quivooy | Ocula | 2021

Amani Lewis
representative works

Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Lévy Gorvy Dayan contemporary art gallery in New York, United States
Lévy Gorvy Dayan Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris
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