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Art & Life with Alex Ivey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Ivey.

Alex, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Let’s see… born in New York City, attended film school at the one and only Purchase College, started my adult life in publishing and moved on to advertising. Writing and photography have always been at the core of my life. I moved to California in 2016 and so far its been great for my creative work.

My life in New York seems so far away now, but I’ve only been west for two years and some months. In many ways, it is still surreal. I had so many adventures back east and lived what someone might call a full life that it feels like it happened to someone else. This new chapter is exhilarating and slightly scary, but I’ve found that shooting fashion, portraits, and art have opened a new world to me. I can’t get enough of it, honestly. I’m grateful to have that again: that thrill of making something big and beautiful and bold.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The story is really the driving force of much of what I do. I know a lot of photography, particularly in fashion, commercial and publishing, is obsessed with beauty. I think about those things too, but I think there’s more beauty in the narrative than just for beauty’s sake. My inspiration comes from sources like novels, film, poetry and the great photographers of the last 100 years. Gordon Parks, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, Annie Liebovitz. The list goes on. I don’t have a definitive artist’s statement (at least not a broad, all-encompassing one) because I think that’s reductive. I make things. People and stories captivate me. I hope you like it.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Success is a moving target. So many people who I admire often talk about struggling and not just financially. The artist’s life is hard on relationships and peace of mind can be hard to come by. There are many stories of great minds who lived hard and were left with a huge body of work, no friends and estranged families. I’m not trying to go that route.

For me, success would be gallery shows, sold prints, published novels, a constant stream of work, travel, maybe a live/work loft space, lots of friends and the respect of my peers.

Success is in the eye of the beholder. I know people who are completely broke but happy as can be. What I want most is to produce great work and mark my time on this earth. To do something I can look back on with pride. And money. Lots of it.

The essential characteristic of an artist? Sh*t, man. If I knew that I’d be teaching.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Referrals to paying jobs and publications. If you like an artist shout them out when you can. Tell people who are in a position to pay the artist about them.

Support for the arts is in short supply. The internet has been great for exposure, but it has created saturation so that now, no one wants to pay artists for their work. Support me by supporting artists. Instead of reading someone’s work online, go buy their book from an independent bookstore. Instead of Spotify buy a record from iTunes, or go to a record shop and buy a (gasp!) CD or vinyl. If you want headshots and portraits, save your pennies and pay the photographer for their craft.

My portfolio site is here: https://www.alexiveyphotography.com/.

If you want to work with me, you can book me online. I’m always down!

Contact Info:

  Image Credit:
Alex Ivey, photographer

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