Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Art off the canvas

So I said I'd show you one of my new favorite artists, and here she is, in self-portrait form:

I don't know if you can tell from this small size, but that's not a painting.

That's a photograph.

Alexa Meade is maybe one of the most conceptual artists I can think of off the top of my head. She paints the bodies and clothes of her models with acrylic, and then photographs them. She also does living installations, in which a painted model sits in a painted diorama on a painted chair.
This is a print from one such installation:

...and this is the same installation, with the artist in it.

The papers surrounding the guy are painstakingly painted as well. She also does what she calls "living still life" which is what it sounds like- a still life such as a bowl of fruit, painted over with acrylic in the same way as her models. In some ways, the still lifes are even more like a painting- I think it's because no matter how well you paint a person, things like their eyes and hair will always be real-looking.

I love stuff like this, stuff that blurs the line between real and fake, photography and painting, life and art. And of course it's a huge bonus that her painting style reminds me of Van Gogh and Chagall. I love the dynamic feel of expressionism, and chunky, clearly visible brush strokes are gorgeous, at least to me. Weirdly, the "paintings" remind me mostly of the work of Clive Barker, who is more famous for being a writer but whose art I greatly admire.  Not so much the subject matter, obviously, but the brush strokes and vibrant colors.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I love Alexa Meade's work to the point that I'll neglect working on my project proposal for sculpture class to post about her at midnight on a Tuesday.

Relevant links:
Alexa Meade's main site, which has mostly older art on it
Alexa Meade's flickr account, which seems to be much more up-to-date, and includes process photos and my favorite of her pieces so far, which is entitled Mediation (it's my favorite because it gets even more meta than everything else she does)

Maybe sometime in the future I'll do a post on Clive Barker and his art as it relates to his writing, because I'm actually a huge fan of the guy in general. For now, what I'll probably post about next time is art and music! See you!

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