Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A well-executed, if fairly usual impressionist painting right? Wrong. The canvas is actually human skin, and the model has been encased in acrylic paint to create a '3D' take on a classic style. Taking the street show idea of painting skin and posing as a living sculpture way beyond its natural conclusion, 23-year-old Washington-based artist Alexa Meade paints people. Or as her website explains, she “perceptually compresses three dimensional space into a two dimensional plane”.

Either way, the end result – a transient combination of installation, painting, photography, performance, sculpture and video – is pretty unbelievable. Even as I type this, over my shoulder, someone in the office is going, “No ways, I don’t believe it!” We spoke to Alexa to find out more.

Why people?

I paint directly on people because I’m interested in exploring the tensions between being and permanence.

Being and permanence?

I like the idea of creating something that will be destroyed immediately upon completion. Once the performance is resolved, the model rips off the acrylic mask and all that endures is a photographic print documenting the time-based event. I don’t sell installations or anything with a painted surface. The only thing you can own is a photographic index of my representational painting.

Click here to read the full interview on Don't Panic Online.

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