Lilly Reyes

BFA | Painting


My name is Lilly Reyes, I grew up in Chicago, and have always had an irrepressible urge to express myself creatively. I had been painting since sophomore year of high school, so when I arrived at Notre Dame, I soon realized that the BFA route was perfect for me. Art has given me the opportunity to generate my own language and see the world through so many different lenses. I hope to continue my art career post-graduation and hope to eventually attend a graduate level program to receive my MFA.


My abstract paintings capture the flux of identity through a chaotic layering of mixed media – mirroring the convergence of subconscious psychological states. My canvases link past to present: the work of yesterday overlaid with the work of today, the totality a representation not just of what is added or subtracted, but of an additional dimension: time. This temporal shift leads to abrupt transitions within my pieces, areas where past and present collide in fascinating ways. My process is intuitive; unbound by a fixed vision. The different interactions I have with the canvas reflect the flux in my life. The continual, disrupted actions, display a subconscious awareness of my own changing physical reality, which reflects the progression of identity over time. The final product is a mirror that reflects the chaos of my own thoughts. With different brush strokes, colors and mediums, I force the past to cohere with the present:  a clash which is embodied in the chaotic cohesion of each canvas. Each painting is a residue of my internal life at a particular time.  

My work strives to capture the irrepressible urge to progress, to change and develop, an urge shared by human beings everywhere.  My response to this psychological burden is to unload these physically intangible beliefs, and feelings and give them form, shape and mass. In making them real in the physical world, I am acknowledging their influence. Time spent in front of the canvas slowly reveals a previously hidden part of the “self”, bringing it into a conscious light. 

People evolve – we change from day to day, in ways that are sometimes indiscernible to ourselves. My work strives to capture that evolution in a physical way, by developing instinctive, gestural works, bringing the past and present into a single composition.  


Residue of What Used to Make Sense

Mixed Media on Canvas | 4x5 | 2020


Ink, Pen, and acrylic on canvas paper | 16x20 | 2020


Mixed Media on Canvas | 2020


Mixed Media on Canvas | 10x8 | 2020


Acrylic and oil on canvas | 7x7 | 2020


Mixed Media on Canvas | 12x14 | 2020


Acrylic on Canvas | 2020