Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra Dillon.
Alexandra, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I started making art at a very young age but studied filmmaking in college. After a few years in the film industry, I felt I wasn’t getting to be as creative as I really wanted to be and decided to study art. I wasn’t really interested in conceptual art or postmodernism. I wanted to paint! So I found a classical realism school in Florence, Italy and spent a year there. When I returned, I had to figure out what to do with all my new-found skills. I knew I didn’t want to do straight ahead realism, so I found myself experimenting a lot with what would eventually be called pop surrealism. I played around with many different styles for a lot of years, but eventually found the work I’m doing now. My present work lets me do all the things I love most; create characters, explore personality, evoke surreal metaphors and paint classically. I found my niche.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I paint imagined portraits on old worn paintbrushes, and the characters show up and tell me who they are. The style is inspired by Roman-Egyptian mummy portraits, Baroque and 19th-century paintings. I love portraiture from every era. Faces tell stories.
I have asked myself why my paintbrush portraits have become so popular, especially on Instagram. I’ve come to see that there is more to it than just an original and quirky idea I think my faces connect with people, The eyes look right at the viewer and convey some sort of shared experience. I really strive to create characters that seem like real people. Often I think I’m just channeling souls of people who have lived or will live.
I’ve also been painting on axes, cleavers, shovels, and padlocks. Those pieces are very surreal, and the found objects have a context that juxtaposes with the portraits and creates new meanings. And I paint on dresses and lady’s gloves. Dresses and gloves are intimate items. And I think they carry some resonance of the person who wore them. Right now, I’m working on an Old Hollywood series. I love the glamour of that period, especially the 1920-30’s. It was a time when the projection of femininity was— bedazzling! I’m really having fun with these.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
My advice to artists is to stay the course! My persistence is what finally led me to find my true voice.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
There is a lot of my work on my Instagram feed and my website, but I will be doing an exhibition at the Other Art Fair, Oct 25-28, 2018 at the Barker Hanger in the Santa Monica Airport. It’s going to be a great show, and I urge people to come to the fair.
- Website: www.alexandradillon.com
- Instagram: @alexandradillonartist
- Facebook: @alexandradillonart
All images by Alexandra Dillon