Interview with a young artist - Alexander James.
We sit down with artist Alexander James to find out about his upcoming show at the Phillip Lim 3.1 store, what he thinks of social media and his multi-disciplinary approaches.
Having amassed over 11,000 followers, and with an overarching 'clickable' aesthetic, the Instagram account that Alexander James uses to promote his work is a prime example of the new-wave artist's digital gallery. Veils of colour, impasto paint, animals, Western movies, painted jeans - they all come together here. His mediums are as varied as his subjects, with clothing, canvases, moving images all used in his discourse of expression, and united through his energetic and urgent use of colour.
We sat down with him to find out about his upcoming show at the Phillip Lim 3.1 store, what he thinks of social media, and his multi-disciplinary approaches.
On social media:
"It's something you can’t not embrace. You have to adapt to the way the world is moving - find a way to share your aesthetic and apply it in a way that suits you as a creative."
"Painting has become the forefront of my practice, while i incorporate digital print, photography and a host of other materials. I have found that painting is the link to all mediums – expressive and always evolving."
"I observe an item of clothing as a blank, ‘unstretched’ canvas. The raw materials of a fabric warrants scrutiny of every detail, creating interesting shapes to explore. TCDR includes painting on worn clothing. In ‘Afternoon Tea’, I used oils, charcoal and fabrics from a suit. Each piece of fabric is associated with a memory. These fabric collage paintings inspired a series of three oil paintings titled ‘Clique’, ‘Twins’ and ‘Recoiling’."
Kanjo Loop and Nachi Falls will be on display at Alexander's next show, Urban Escapes: Dreaming of Nature'
I have created my own uniform and signature. Colours and patterns are superimposed onto items of clothing, designed to capture an identity. Each piece is handmade so everything is different, that’s an important part in my process.
I enjoy being playful with videos – pausing, playing and re-playing scenes and, in particular, people’s expressions. This created a beautiful yet dysfunctional image comprised of a variety of colours, entwined with each other and yet oddly controlled. I envisage an empty canvas as a jolted screen or a paused video – freely throwing colours, patterns, and shapes into an organised mess.
"London is at the centre of everything creative right now, London is home. My aim is to make my mark here before I even consider living elsewhere. It’s a tough place to live, as we all know it’s certainly not a cheap place. Being the centre of so much, it’s important to endure the struggle because - besides New York - I believe London grants creative people with the most opportunities.
White Cube is my favourite space in London followed by the Gagosian gallery & Saatchi Gallery. The Switch House at the Tate is also really beautiful, especially on a sunny day."
Alexander will soon be staging a collage and mixed medium exhibition Urban Escapes: Dreaming of Nature alongside two other artists in the Philip Lim 3.1 store, exploring the transformational and ephemeral nature of place. Watch out for him!