(Kuhn Family Gallery) Lew Lautin is an award winning artist, photographer and videographer whose work cannot be restricted to a single theme or style. Following a successful career in real estate building and development, he dedicated a decade to sensitive environmental issues. Before embarking on his career as a photographer and film maker, he wrote and lectured extensively on wetland issues.
But it was his creative instincts that inspired him throughout his life to capture the beauty and emotion around him in an effort to share his vision with others. His father was an avid photographer who passed along this passion to his son. At the age of 12, his father gave him a secondhand Zeiss Icon 35mm camera. Upon processing his first roll of film, Lautin was hooked. Throughout his secular career, Lautin honed his technical and photojournalistic skills with commercial photography including a cover photo on November 16, 1975, for the Detroit Free Press.
Beginning in 1975 with a photograph of Jack Oliver, a former society editor for the Detroit Free Press who had become homeless, Lautin has devoted countless hours to the plight of the less fortunate among us. He has amassed thousands of images of the homeless. These portraits and the art Lautin has created from these images have been exhibited in numerous galleries, featured on television and sold to raise money for charity. One 12’ iconic composite was commissioned and installed at the offices of The National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C. The evolution of his talent into the world of fine art was inevitable. His sense of structure and form has been enhanced by his experience as a builder. His vision for composition and impact grew from his work in commercial photography and his ability to transform emotion into art is an extension of his work with the homeless. Lautin’s art is a unique expression of a lifetime of experience. Currently Lew Lautin is a member of the faculty of the Coral Springs Museum of Art where he teaches “The Magic Beyond the Image” for both children and adults.
I cannot corral my work into a single theme. My work is to transport the instant of an image within my mind’s eye into the physical – allowing others to experience that same precise moment of my own inspiration. From the inexplicable beauty of our natural world to the inexplicable emotion of our human journey, our visual experience is sensory magic. To capture a piece of magic is to be an artist. Recently, much of my work has focused on the homeless and near homeless. Finding the inner dignity of people so frequently overlooked within society has been a remarkable inspiration. I have learned the act of giving is at the same time the act of receiving for all involved and I have taken that insight with me while viewing all the other remarkable images we overlook each day, finding new beauty in the most unexpected places. My passion as an artist is to look deep into each image until I am able to transform that frozen moment in to the magic beyond the image and then to share that magic with the world.