Transit by Alexa Meade
2009, C-Print, 18 x 24 in.
When I first saw the picture above I was REALLY confused, I literally said "WHAT?!" out loud. Basically, instead of putting paint on a canvas and creating a portrait Alexa Meade puts paint directly onto a person and makes them seem as if they are a two dimensional painting rather than a three dimensional person! It's quite bizarre if you think about it.
Here's what I love most about Alexa.
One, she has created another form of art that not only is something no one has ever done, but an art that combines painting, photography, installation, and performance. I always wonder when an artist creates a new technique or does something that has never been done before do they get really excited like someone would when they invent something that works? Like when Alexa first figured out this technique and how awesome it looks, did she think "Wow, I am going to be really famous one day because of this?"
Two, she is super young (23) and seems really for lack of a better word, normal. You can try and deny it but, most great artists are really strange or have some type of psychological disorder/problem. Van Gogh, Warhol, Pollock all had special circumstances that made them a little weird and/or mentally unstable. Alexa Meade is one of the first really amazing artists that I have watched an interview of and thought, wow she seems really normal which I think adds to her amazing art because I know it's not her insanity that is driving the piece, it's just her.
Three, her work is just awesome. I love looking at Trompe-L'Oeil art, or art that tricks the eye because it's art that anyone could look at and be intrigued. You don't have to look way into the meaning or be an experienced art goer to love it, you love it because it confuses the heck out of you. In an interview I watched Alexa said that usually the people who understand that her art is a trick are kids and that they usually explain it to their parents. That says a lot. One of Picasso's more famous quotes is "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up." Alexa's art isn't childish, it is art that children understand because they have such vivid imaginations. Her art challenges you to be creative as this is the only way you will understand it.
Alexa's art requires imagination and that is a quality every work of art should require.