Alex RouletteLeaves Close
Represented by George Billis Gallery, NY & LA -- When the mind is uncertain the body decides. In the morning I woke to see yesterday’s landscape obscured by fog. I was trekking through a gorge and I continued along the trail with my visibility restricted to only few meters ahead. Putting one foot in front of the other I followed the trail, a rock face to my left and on the right a cliff to unknown depths. Eventually the fog transformed to take on the shape of clouds, stretching and shifting to reveal the periphery of the landscape. The top of the mountain began to appear through the gaps in the fog. The peak appeared taller and more assertive than I remembered, there was a power held in the concealed parts. The paintings explore tension caused by the unknown and unseen. Constructing an imagined world where the familiar is disrupted and a new light is shed on the ordinary. The uncanny imagery speaks to the strangeness of everyday life. In order to capture moments that have never happened, I use a process of collaging various photographic references. Rendering the paintings in a realistic way brings immediacy, but further inspection sparks curiosity because of the inherent falsehood. The fictional scenes depicted in the paintings, piece together non-linear narratives from a youthful perspective. I focus on adolescence because it’s a time filled with strong desire, curiosity, and discovering how to relate to the world. The paintings attempt to find meaning within the physical distances of objects and activate the spaces in-between, while investigating how people engage with others and environments in non-social ways. Everyday encounters will often evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. I draw from these memories of places and experiences, although I question the reliability of my memory. It feels as though the more time passes, the events get distorted and start to become more about perception and less about reality. Memories turn into myths and only recall chosen aspects of the past. When I’m painting I use the liberties the medium allows to dislocate objects and figures, recalling the hazy state of memories in which certain details fall into place while others fade away. The observed mingles with the imagined within the paintings. I think back to moments traveling when time felt endless. Days spent on trains and buses, looking though windows to get a glimpse of the countless unknown places passing by. Each one containing worlds which I will never set foot in nevertheless my imagination allows stories to form against these backdrops. Memories arrive without choice and blur the past with the present. The train will inevitably pulls into its final destination in the dark. Waking the next morning in a fog surrounded by unfamiliar sights and smells, a feeling of unease and nervousness takes over. It is as though you look down towards the net that would be there to catch your fall, appears now to have too many holes. It no longer feels safe.
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