Illustrator and painter Alexandra Carter admit that abstract and minimal work never seemed to be an option for her. She needed more to hold onto, she needed to feel engaged. She found what she was looking for in her personal history. She also found it in stains.
In one series, Carter paints using cranberry juice – a reference to her origins, which include growing up on a cranberry farm in New England. The fluid is juxtaposed with collage elements; using solvents and other transfer methods she directly appropriates reference images from her archive.
“Narrative and narrative imagery has always appealed to me,” she told Girl Trip. “I think it’s necessary to investigate the stories we grew up with, and other stories that have been told throughout history, and how those have shaped us – not just how they morally shaped us, but how they conjure certain images in our brain. Most of these stories I’ve come upon through narrative resources of literature and film, but also very clearly from the research and image-mining that I conduct while traveling.”
Her work (which also includes print media, collage, and performance), often leans on her personal background, but also draws from literature, mythology, dance, and costume. The personal memory is interconnected with the collective memory, and Carter explores through her work themes of gender, fairytale, and masquerade.
“My work involves my identity directly, especially since I often use my own body as a model,” she says. “A lot of artists don’t call themselves feminists or don’t want to be classified as ‘women artists’ and I get that; we should be considered across the whole broad sphere of art discourse, not just as a representation of our gender. Men don’t face that same prescription. However, because we ARE less represented in the art world (in terms of who is being shown at galleries and museums, who is selling, etc), I think shouting out that identity, as a female artist, serves the call for more female representation in the art world.”
Take a look at some of her work in the gallery below: