Alex Paik is a Brooklyn-based artist using cut and folded hand-colored paper to create fugue-like works that explore ephemerality, repetition, and visual counterpoint. His work is influenced by his childhood training as a classical musician and his interest in polyphonic musical structures.
Paik’s work have been exhibited in galleries and art fairs nationally and internationally. He is represented by Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and is the director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. He is the curator of the critically acclaimed Satellite Art Show, an alternative art fair in Miami.
Alex Paik's first serious introduction to art was through classical music, and the qualities and architecture of music stayed with him as he made the transition to visual art. He's always been attracted to the way that music can simultaneously be cerebral and personal, physical and immaterial, structured and organic, especially in the contrapuntal music of Bach.
Paik's works explore a single subject and the endless ways that the forms stack, recombine, and connect to each other through repetition. Or, to borrow Glenn Gould’s description of Bach’s late fugues, to “give the impression of an infinitely expanding universe.” These fugue-like pieces take no final static form but instead are improvised onsite each time they are shown. Each exhibition of a piece becomes a different performance of the same piece, emphasizing the ephemeral and temporal quality of the work.
Ultimately, the musical quality that he's attracted to most is grace - the way that the labor behind a work is hidden behind an appearance of effortlessness and elegance. His work is constructed and “composed” in such a way as to feel like it just appeared, almost out of thin air, and could just as quickly disappear.