Fluid-curved dimension versus static-geometrical figures
Being able to convince the viewer and his very own life experience that a specific work of art is about the viewer himself represents a meta-narrative level that Alex Gardner reaches. And it is so fascinating because the artist creates a web, a high existence stage precisely through his contrasting perspectives.
How is it possible? By reading in all those black shapes he opens for his audience. It’s all about identity and Alex knows how to play with this concept.
When talking about genealogy and influences, the artist evokes his African-Japanese routes. Born in 1987, this young American artist developed his passion for painting by attending California State University, Long Beach, in 2011. He’s got a Fine Arts degree, although he confessed in an interview that he applied for film in the first place. He remembers that there was a time he wanted to be a director. And admits the fact that he used to saw himself working as a production designer, rather than being a painter.
Many canvases that he brought to life saw the light of various American galleries. Visiting Alex Gardner’s website, the viewer begins to swim in a dimension of cubic aesthetics. He emphasizes the major concept of contrast, grabs the viewer’s hand and forces him to connect with opposite visions. When we speak about contrast, we define identity. All is linked, all is consequence. Identity delves into everybody’s story. Fluid-curved dimension versus static-geometrical figures; white, pink, blue, green versus black skin tone – these visions emerge into identity. This categorization level is nothing but a major theme in Alex’s work. And this is linked to his mixed race.
All his compositions can be divided into two major plans: a general plan (a lighter one, showed by the colors named before) and a particular one (represented by all those black silhouettes). The artist chose black silhouettes to be perceived as anonymous. Black highlights the viewers’ ability to identify with what they see. And this is the particular plan because all viewers are different universes, unknown for the artist. But this is good. It means the artist touched the viewer’s inner world, let him go inside those dark skin tones and filled them up with his personal psychological and social experience, and his contrasting mind galaxies. It’s up to the viewer. All that black is, in fact, a mirror that Alex puts in front of his viewers.
To look upon Gardner’s painting is like listening to a pop song or like watching a movie about future worlds and relationships. We say so because he opens dimensions full of cubic structures. It’s all so simple and reveals almost digital structures. He chooses to bring in front of the viewer a glassy portal, one that reveals emotions and moods. Alex can be seen as an artist came from the future. He explores a post-postmodernism dimension and his entire art can be acknowledged as being a fluid poetry of the forms. He embraced a fresh and youthful talent of being admired for his paradoxical vision. His artwork gives a new state of description about how we perceive things, and how he speaks about his process makes him even more extraordinary. His freshness, his youthful touch, his simplicity, his inner glimpse strikes in common objects.
Back to basics seems to be his motto. Simple emotions and moods are put alongside geometrical forms and curved bodies; human figures emphasize dynamism and linear forms; hair and hands are combined with flora dimensions. Curved lines ‘kissing’ fluid hair or leaves – all mixed up with geometrical shapes, such as boxes. And above all this, black ‘meeting’ blue and pink lights. Artist’s figurative painting, that can be perceived as obscure, finds its beginning in life as we all know it. Individuals’ dialogues, their everyday balance through routine depict the main source of inspiration for the Los Angeles native artist. Canvases showing only one couple or more than two characters speak about identity, desire, ethnicity, and anxiety. All those fluid curves express desire. The hands speak about desire too and call for staying simple in your moods. The figures call for obscure and abstract details finished up in white T-shirts and shorts. Free flowing versus sitting body postures and geometrically shaped boxes – all this reveals his way of sharing messages about future social relationships. It’s a constructivism manner about how Gardner paints. He passed from a surreal level and reached an extension of his cubic imaginary, which is almost like a white cold digital sphere.
The painter attached to his work a mechanism able to touch every viewer. Black is a hole to see various connections and to strip down to basics: who am I? I’m the one who sees and admires Alex’s work of art, and he’s so kind and genuinely friendly to me. And he sees throughout my identity. Because all that black is the part I, the viewer, paint it with my whole experience and emotions. And in the end, I connect it with multiple pastel environments and abstract forms that Gardner allows. It’s all about bonding.
By: Irina Iacob