Alexa Lee is a painter and ceramic artist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a BFA candidate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been featured in multiple juried exhibitions across the southeast United States, including the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and the Meridian Museum of Art. Her ceramic work is currently represented at Jeannie Edwards Fine Art gallery in Highland, NC.  

Alexa’s work focuses on memory and how it imbeds itself into the body and mind. She works in the genre of narrative figure painting in a style heavily influenced by painters of the aesthetic and romantic art movements, including James Mcneill Whistler and John William Waterhouse. Alexa’s work is also influenced by modern photography, as she often employs distortion and lens perspective in the composition of her paintings. She uses outdated photographs, cameras, and alcohol in her work to symbolize the conflict between the desire to remember and the longing to forget. 

Artist Statement

My artwork is centered around memory and how it imbeds itself into the body and mind. I primarily express this through narrative figurative paintings of everyday moments in which the subjects appear lost in thought or “somewhere else.” The tone of the scene surrounding the figure gives an impression of deeper emotion than the subject seems to be expressing. I use slight distortion and lens perspective in the composition to emphasize parts of the body that I see as seats of emotion: the abdomen as the area where grief is most viscerally felt and hands as a place where emotion is involuntarily expressed. My subjects are painted to scale so the viewer may interact with them as equals. 

The primary source of inspiration is my own mind and memory, of which the artworks are reflections. Themes of femininity, history, and religion continually resurface as these are significant lenses through which I view the world. I have always been drawn to tactile and physical things, so I work with mediums that respond to my touch. I work with oil paint in a style influenced by art history, particularly the Romantic era. I am also a ceramicist and use clay to create functional vessels that imply narrative within their form, but include no figure, as, conceptually, the person using the vessel becomes the figure. 

My artwork represents the conflict between the desire to remember and forget. I believe that much of a person’s life is determined by the ways in which they experience and carry around what they remember. I depict memory as a blessing and a curse that the subjects of my paintings must respond to; in this, I hope my work serves as something the viewer can see themselves reflected in. 

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