Photo Courtesy: Cris LaNiese

“I have always been drawn to the arts. I attended an art school in high school but went for Creative Writing. When I was [a] child I sang in the school and church choirs. But the visual arts did not come to me until I was an adult, out of college and already married. I just needed a different technique of expression. I honestly see art in everything,” said Cris LaNiese. LaNiese is a 26 year old acrylic painter from Louisville, KY who currently resides in Jacksonville, FL.

LaNiese’s artistic style was initially influenced by street artists such as, Banksy, Basquiat, Plastic Jesus, and Dirty Wet Paint. These influences led into her passion for the urban contemporary. Much of LaNiese’s work consists of bold colors and the female anatomy. “Being a woman I might be bias but I think a woman’s body is the perfect piece of art. It creates life, our shapes are hypnotizing and [every one] of us is built differently. Women have been known throughout time Eve with Adam, Cleopatra with Caesar, Wallis Simpson with Hitler, Marilyn Monroe with the Kennedy’s, etc.” Her style and technique can especially be seen in her favorite pieces: She Drips Gold, Y.A.M.S., and Mo Money Mo Problems.

To aspiring artists, LaNiese emphasizes the importance of work ethic and time. “Creativity is not a talent but a way of operating. It’s all about your work ethic and time you put in. Your passion will speak volumes.” Reading Steal Like An Artist, War of Art, Show Your Work, and Motivation Manifesto have also helped her in her artistry.

When not creating art, LaNiese enjoys reading, traveling, music, and documentaries. “I enjoy good trips, good tunes, good documentaries, good food, good reads, great wines (one day I wouldn’t mind being a sommelier), [and] any type of whiskey[;] I work as a craft cocktail specialist so anything that has to do with alchemy and mixology.”

LaNiese is currently staying busy with upcoming projects and shows. “I am trying to perfect the painting of custom sneakers. I’m not a huge sneakerhead but I like the ‘detailism’ of the artist who [works] on them. [I am] also working on some pieces for a couple of shows coming up in Dallas, Atlanta, and Tampa. Planning my underground art exhibit in Jacksonville in September. Oh and a couple of wall murals.”

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