Real Life Art
A few weeks ago my dad sent me a link to perhaps the coolest artist I've ever come across. Her name is Alexa Meade, and she paints people. Not exactly what you're thinking, though. She doesn't paint images of people on flat canvases, but rather takes real people, applies paint to every inch of their bodies, and allows them to become the central focus of her life-size work of art.
Business Insider says she "isn't like any other artist...she literally paints human beings, turning them into living, breathing portraits. Alexa creates the illusion of a world where 2D and 3D have become one." Alexa skips the canvas altogether and paints portraits directly on the subjects. She can photograph her work from any angle and it will still look 2-dimensional.
Originally, she was fascinated by shadows, and their temporality as the light changes throughout the day. She then focused on painting the shadows and highlights of the human body, collapsing depth, as she experimented on her friend by turning him into a painting. She dumped her dream of working in politics in D.C. and delving into her unique world of painting. But she didn't want to
mimic the experts, she wanted her own spin.
She credits her success to having been able to see beyond what had already been brought to light, what's below the surface, and what's hiding in the shadows.
For one particular series, she collaborated with another artist and came up with the idea to use a tub of milk as a base, then have the painted subject lay in the milk. This project had unexpected outcomes, and the milk and paint blended together and allowed for incredible effects.
Filmmaker Jon Boogz wrote, directed, and choreographed a short film in which Alexa's art was the medium of the story. The film centers around a powerful protest of gun violence that shakes our country far too frequently today.
In their endeavor to go out into the world and effect a positive change, they discover in a muted urban landscape the barriers which persist in society and the enduring role of artists as misfits. A universal truth rings clear: no one is immune to the injustices of society and only ACTION will pave the way to the perpetuity of art, dialogue, and the possibility of justice.
See the process of painting the film creator himself:
"Your move, Banksy." -Refinery 29