LESLIE ALEXANDER



These three complementary series of works,’Flora’, ‘Fauna’, and ‘Fluid’’, explore the colliding worlds of the natural and the mechanical; the quick and the dead. In a nod to the tradition of still life painting, portraiture, and landscape, I shoot digital photographs, manipulate them with the computer and print them on canvas, bringing them back to the realm of painting. This result is deliberately subverted by emphasis on the matte surface and the pronounced pixel grid.


The images of flowers are juxtaposed against patterned backgrounds. I reap patterns from quotidian objects such as found fabrics, window screens,oriental carpets and appropriated art and combine them with the complex natural patterns of flowers such as tulips and poppies. By substituting vivid, incongruous colors and textures for those found in nature, and approaching the subject from a spherical sense of anti-gravity,I strive for a result that is both vibrant and disorienting. Flowers seem massive or appear to grow down instead of up; the organic becomes alien and mechanical.

The birds were a taxidermist fantasy found in the great halls of Vienna’s Natural History Museum. Drained of color and stuffed in dusty vitrines, they existed across the lawn from the architecturally identical Art Museum which contained endless portraits of Hapsburg era monarchs. By saturating them with color and light, and digitally freeing them from the drab confines of their cages, I resurrected these birds into pixelated royal portraits.

The seascapes take the natural world a step further into the realm of the supernatural.Shot from the point of view of the swimmer,they look below the deceptively tranquil surface, both literally and figuratively.The idyllic sense of place is also subverted by their large scale which exaggerates the inherent digital grid revealing the process oriented nature of the paintings.

Although the finished work is stretched on canvas as a painting, the photographic process precludes unique images and therefore the very process itself mimics the repetition of the patterns, both natural and mechanical, in the subject it portrays.



See Also , "freeze" Artist Statement