WORK(IN)SPACE: "Ponder," an exhibition of new works by SACI MFA in Studio Art candidate George Alexander
SACI's Maidoff Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 7th at 6pm
On View: February 7 - 10, 2019
George Alexander: Ponder
“A series of paintings about an astronaut whose mission is to help humanity realize that we are on the same journey together on the search for purpose and true meaning in life.”
The astronaut as a character, as well as an icon, belongs to a vast collective imagination including the aesthetics of science-fiction and the idea of the contemporary hero. In the paintings of George Alexander he appears as an anonymous and undecipherable boy from the XXI century, wearing casual clothes, riding a bike or laying on a couch. And, of course, never taking off his helmet.
This mysterious and thoughtful presence is like a magician or a philosopher; and with his concerns about the human condition he becomes a symbol of togetherness: he embodies all the travelers and the doubtful people looking for a meaning, reflecting on the sense of life, with no prejudices and no absurd discriminations.
Recently some animals are appearing in the composition of the paintings. Amongst the others there is a bison, a massive animal that symbolizes freedom and strength, the landscapes of North America and the universe of the First Nation. But for the artist the bison is just a bison, it is a sort of mirror of himself (or of the astronaut): a resilient identity who is still there, despite of all the slaughters and the cultural appropriations.
George Alexander started to work on this series in 2016, using preeminently acrylic painting but experimenting also other techniques and languages. Sometimes he goes back to old canvases and starts working again on (un-)finished painting. This is typical of his process which he lives as a struggle between himself and something to be discovered.
After three years the Astronaut is still there, he keeps pondering. The whole work suggests a dimension of waiting and thinking: “as if the astronaut is trying to figure out how to help us, but yet still cannot think of how."
WORK(IN)SPACE is a series of exhibition projects by SACI 2nd-Year MFA in Studio Art candidates, as part of the Professional Practicum Seminar. Students work directly with SACI's Maidoff Gallery to critically engage with the challenges offered by preparing an exhibition. Each week a new opening presents a coherent body of work of the artists. Working one-to-one with SACI Instructors Daria Filardo and Pietro Gaglianò, students step outside of their studio environment to rethink their work in an exhibition setting, learning to consider all the aspects, limitations, and needs of the given space to achieve the best final result.
WORK(IN)SPACE is held in SACI’s Maidoff Gallery and includes all phases of the exhibition, from the planning to the installation and opening of the show. Visitors are invited to attend the openings, or visit during gallery hours.
George Alexander Biography
George Alexander is a Muscogee Creek Artist from Tulsa Oklahoma. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), Santa Fe New Mexico. Using the morals that he learned growing up, the love for watching Sci Fi movies and looking at graffiti and street art for inspiration, he began developing a unique style. He found the bright colors of graffiti to be brilliant and the hastiness energetic. Watching Sci Fi gave him an idea of what the future would be like if we did not change our ways living on this planet. The morals gave him the vision of coming together as one without a label to separate one another. This gave him a dilemma of looking for true meaning in life. Thus, the astronaut figure was created.
Because of his dedication to his practice, he was honored as a SITE Santa Fe Scholar and received multiple awards from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. Navajo Artist Tony Abeyta recognized George’s passion for painting and began to mentor him. George now continues his education in Florence Italy where he pursues a master’s in fine arts at the Studio Art College International where he continues his practice in painting and developed a new interest for sculpting His work is shown at Rain Maker Gallery Bristol UK, King Galleries in Santa Fe, NM and Home Gallery in Prato, IT. After he graduates, he will continue painting and sculpting where ever life takes him.
SACI's Maidoff Gallery Via Sant'Egidio 14 Gallery Hours: M-F 9-7pm / S-S 1-7pm
View the complete Work(in)Space exhibition calendar.