12 November 2012

Painted Words

Written by Published in Art & Culture

Some of the world’s greatest thinkers used quill pens to ink their ideals and imbue society with new perspectives. Alexandra Grant utilizes the less obvious media of painting to relay philosophical statements and stimulate society to ask why

Alexandra Grant, a Los Angeles based collaborative artist, uses the world as her muse and language as her galvanizing spring towards creating the most awe inspiring sculptures, paintings, drawings and videos. ‘I have ideas I feel should be expressed in paint. I have a voice and it’s about putting feeling into things,’ she explains. From books, artist, poetry, quiet or passionate people, space, the cactus garden at Huntington Gardens, fashion photography on glossy magazines to simply sitting at a dinner table with family, friends, good food and wine, Grants inspiration is brought about from a lucid curiosity that spawned from childhood. 

Born in Fairview, Ohio and raised in Mexico City and France, Grant’s childhood was colored with visits to the museums and with Arts & Crafts objects her parents collected on trips. 

ode to happiness

Graduating in 1995 from Swarthmore College with a BA in History and Studio Art and from California College of the Arts in 2000 with an MFA in Drawing and Painting, Grant has had her works displayed in some of the biggest galleries all over the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Some of her past collaborations include Michael Joyce, the author of the first hypertext fiction, and Ode to Happiness, a book written by first time author Keanu Reeves.

Aside from being an avid recycler and living a sustainable lifestyle, Grant uses recycled art products and is a philanthropic artist who works in collaboration with the non-profit Watts House Project, an artists driven neighborhood redevelopment enterprise. She was the Founding Board Chair of the organization and with the help of architects Robert Sheinberg and Arnold Swanborn created ‘The Love House,’ the Cerant family home on 107th Street, which dons a large sculpture of the word ‘love’ on its rooftop. Funds for the project have also been raised by the sale of her ‘Love’ rings andnecklace. 
love rings Love necklace
Grants current projects include art pieces that were inspired by Century of the Self, a documentary about Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, who was the first psychoanalyst to apply his uncles work in the field of public relations in order to create what we now call commercials and advertisements. Her work delves into the roots of consumerism and superficiality and explores how we view ourselves. Grant is a firm believer in getting in touch with the self and not allowing or succumbing to the projections or stereotypes of the world, whatever that may be, she explains, ‘I think a person should always be themselves. An intellectual doesn’t have to look intellectual. It’s about feeling things and about making the world inside and outside of you equal. It’s important to let what’s inside of you come out.’ These works will be featured in collaboration with LAXART and will be featured at an exhibition in 2013 at University of Sothern California Fisher Museum.

Selves-1024x691Selves by Alexandra Grant

Forêt Intérieure (Interior Forest) another project debuting April through June 2013 at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, consists of a collaboration with Hélène Cixous, a Paris based writer and philosopher on her book Philippines which deals with several themes including the relationships of north and south, dreaming and reality, telepathy and empathy, colony and colonizer, woman and man, and child and adult.

While she keeps a busy schedule, upon meeting her, Grant does not come across as someone that is embarking on so many collaborative artistic feats bent on inspiring and elucidating the heart and mind. Rather she maintained an elegant yet childlike resilience that, like her art, was succinct and palpable in all its serene pleasantries.


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