Alex Dewez

AUGUST FEATURED ARTIST

Instagram: @AlexandraDewez    AlexandraDewez.com

Artist’s statement

I was a solitary but expressive child, fond of words but not of uttering them, attracted to people but always wary. I wrote, dark abstract poems torn out of my small hands by my panicked mother, and drew, image after image, on every surface available. My silent gestures were not rebellious but a form of resilience, a means to translate information I was eager to absorb but that did not always make sense to me, to adapt to a confusing chaotic world. In adulthood these articulations continued, in various mediums but with the unfailing objective of creating objects I could revisit, physical interpretations of memories, emotions and actual events significant to me.

Photography has become my fundamental means of expression. Often unable to “connect”, I use the images I create to convey the specific emotions and urges I need to exteriorize. And as I observe the world spinning relentlessly around me, two themes continue to present themselves and intermingle. The first is the expressiveness of both animals and natural environments, their rawness and lack of self-censorship, their power, obvious in life and maintained in death. The second is the human skin, in all its variants, all its contortions, in detail and as a whole body. Whether confronted accidentally with the image or extracting it from my brain through staging, the resulting photograph allows me to communicate in the most precise and honest way I know how. With the hope of being understood but the declaration itself being the essence.

Bio:

Born in Paris of Austrian and Franco-Belgian parents, I was raised primarily in London before moving to the US where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Theatrical Set and Lighting Design from Bennington College in Vermont.

I pursued a design career in New York and Washington DC for several years before unforeseen events led me to work in several other, extremely varied, domains. The past 15 years have included teaching in rural Virginia, managing government reform projects for the European Commission in the Balkans, working in the fashion division of the world’s top luxury group, exercising racehorses in France, and owning and running a small art gallery and hotel in the Hudson Valley. This ongoing journey has been fueled by one constant motivation: the curiosity to keep discovering. To explore lands and cultures but also social norms and structures. To witness how things are and how things work, even things I grew to hate and despise but still sought to understand. Throughout I have continued to create and document my experiences. Through photographs, visual journals, sculptures, very large hyper realist charcoals and more recently video. Some of these pieces were shown and sold (in Paris, NYC, Hudson and Miami), many were given to people who had an impact on me or recycled into new work, some still watch over me in my immediate surroundings.

The past couple of years have seen a rising intensity in the pace of my work and its place in my existence. I am now dedicating as much time as possible to my process and beginning to share my work with others more regularly. As I age my desire to document not only my own experience but also that of others grows. I am currently working on a series of images in Louisiana that seeks to examine not only the ecological impact of human life in the region but also the beauty and power of the indigenous faunae and their relationship to their human counterparts.

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