Who is Alexa Meade?
Alexa Meade takes an unconventional approach to art. Her work doesn’t involve sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then transforms it literally though paint. She covers everything in a scene—people, chairs, food, you name it—in a mask of paint that imitates what’s under it.
Double Take, 2010 – Self Portrait of Alexa Meade by Alexa Meade
Behind the scenes of ‘Risen’.
How it started:
Alexa stumbled upon this technique that she named “Reverse Trompe-L’oeil” by accident. While studying political science in college, she had an idea for an art project: What would it look like if she covered up shadows in the landscape with black paint? This question, alongside her fascination with shadows, led her down a rabbit hole of experiments with painting in 3D space that led to her discovery of this new style of optical illusion within art. Her work, she says, began as a study of the ways in which shadows fall on the three-dimensional world, but has expanded into something so much more ever since. From painting on toasts, she now paints on people around the world who become part of the urban landscape as living street art.
“For a while, I focused on inanimate objects and created a number of still lifes,” Meade tells us. “But I found the human form such a compelling subject that I began to focus on it.”
Egg on Egg.
Blurring the lines between paint and photograph:
What may look like a traditional painted portrait is actually a photograph of a living, breathing person whose face, clothes and surroundings are all covered in acrylic paint. The 3D paintings can be photographed from any angle and maintain the illusion of flatness without the need for digital effects.
“I want them to see that there’s more there than meets the eye, that there is this world that you know but then also there are deeper things to explore within it,” she said.
The photographs of the ephemeral painting performances hang on the walls of galleries and museums. Her latest collaboration with movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck combines her style of 3D painting with the medium of dance, bringing art to life and an expressive take on contemporary social issues.
Color of Reality
Explore more of Alexa’s collection of artwork on her website.