Friday, 22 September 2017

[ CRACKED ] ENCRYPTION

Even though my paintings look very structured, they still evolve out of a spontaneous process, which is why they sometimes take so long. I start with an empty grid and fill it in. The shapes have to balance ( in 2D as well as the 3D surface layers ), as do the colours. At the same time, the whole thing has to conform to my need for asymmetry. So the editing process involves re-taping, repainting, remixing, over-writing and deleting as I go along.

The net result is a composition that still has to balance, despite all the random elements that went into it. Example: ENCRYPTION ( below ), acrylic on canvas, 2016.


However, having spent most of 2017 experimenting with vector art, I've used what I've learnt to convert some of my paintings into digital replicas, that can be broken up and reorganised. Here are some of the component parts. There's no composition here - I was simply separating parts out on the page to see what I could use. 

Below: ENCRYPTION ( SHAPES ) digital drawing, Sept 2017.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

AHEAD OF THE CURVES

Again, apologies for the lack of updates. I've been super-busy with work that I can't show here yet, hence my lack of visibility.


In the meantime, some old friends will be making a comeback soon...check out this new drawing.

Pen & ink on paper, Sept 2017


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

WELCOME - Здравствуйте - Bienvenue - こんにちは - Wilkommen - 你好 - Χαίρετε

My name is Alexi K. I am a contemporary artist, based in Birmingham, in the UK. My art is all about abstracting the everyday and speculating the future: architecture, people, diagrams, data, and bright colours. I'm inspired by Cubism, Futurism, Bauhaus and Constructivism. I love straight lines. Enjoy!


Below: The Alexi K SUPERHIGHWAY CHAIR, courtesy of Valley Forge Fabrics.






Tuesday, 25 July 2017

SANDRA

I still can't get over how good the iPhone camera is. Preparatory ( cropped ) reference photo for future drawing project.








EXTERNAL MEMORY

Facebook just showed me this great close-up pic from a few years back. You can clearly see all the layers that make up my work. This probably shows just a few inches across the surface of the actual painting.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

RAINBOW NATION

A TRIP TO THE CAPITAL TO SIGN COPIES OF A NEW ANTHOLOGY,
...WITH AN ACCIDENTAL DETOUR VIA THE LONDON PRIDE MARCH!

There was a definite theme of colour prevalent during the weekend, when I went down to London for the launch party of 'Elasticity', a book compiled from the best stories of notable UK cult fiction imprint Elastic Press ( and for which, I had designed the cover ). I'm inspired by dynamic art like cubism, futurism, comic-books and speculative fiction, and I like to think that the artwork successfully evoked that feeling of dynamism.



Accompanied by Midlands author of weird fiction, James Burr, we inadvertently found ourselves amongst the enthusiastic crowds who were gathering for London Pride, so we wandered along Regent Street taking in the sights, and enjoying the unusually hot weather. 



Luckily, we just made it to the book launch on time. I was then introduced to the room of fans, bloggers, writers and editors, by publisher Ian Whates, and asked to make my way to the front to sign the book, along with the authors. Ian's imprint, Newcon Press, is a prestigious, multi-award-winning publishing house, and it was Newcon, with Elastic's editor Andrew Hook, who were publishing this best-of anthology.


Below: I really love the matte finish on the paperback. All my paintings have a matte finish, I never use gloss or varnish. 


The book cover ( above ) is based on one of my first 'Mood Flag' paintings GAMBIAN RAIN. Below, the unedited version is used on the inside front cover of the hardback...



...and a greyscale version several pages in. Seen here with the editor's signature.


Below: Inside back cover ( hardback ).


Many thanks to Newcon Press, Ian Whates & Andrew Hook, and also to James Burr.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE

LOOKING BACK AT LAST SUMMER'S BIG PROJECT

Below: In the photo you'll see that backwards 'Z' shape that shouldn't be there. Adding deliberate mistakes, and leaving in real ones, can enhance the work and provoke innovation.


Can you spot the other anomaly? ]

These photos are from the 'Test Install' session that I undertook last summer, with the help of fellow Birmingham artist Rob Walsh. It was a full-scale practise session in preparation for a mural design for BPN Architects summer art show. Looking at the photograph, and then reading my thoughts about it in last year's blog entry, it seems I failed to highlight one of its most interesting aspects. 

I talked about how 'big art' happens at a different tempo. That, because of its scale, I'm allowed more time to think about the decisions made, and why I make them.


Below: There are actually two 'anomalies' here.




In my paintings, and in these murals, I always put 'mistakes' in. Some are genuine - for instance, if you rule lines across a canvas, it can bend in the middle and disrupt the measurements. I found that I liked the mistakes, and they helped me to keep the art from becoming formulaic. They prevent the viewer from making any assumptions as the eye travels around the composition. And also to partly keep me amused while I undertake the laborious task of scaling up something that is usually as small as an A5 postcard. I hasten to add that this is not 'Op Art' where the viewer's eyeballs are dazzled by some flashy optical trick. 

I want the viewer to suddenly stop and think, 'Wait, is that a mistake?' If he stops long enough, he realises it's deliberate, and at that moment a connection is made between us. The ideal response would be for the viewer to have a private laugh about it. It's like a musical piece that relies on repetition, and then at the last chorus, amuses the audience by deliberately throwing them off.


Rob and I used to discuss these all the time, and they highlighted the differences between our two styles. If a piece looked too 'uniform' or 'designed' I would always point out that it would need an 'anomaly' to break it up. I've sometimes mentioned how my art has a musical or linguistic foundation. 'Anomalies', 'verticals', 'chevrons', 'returns'...we developed our own site-specific short-hand while doing these pieces. Rob is a geometric artist of mind-boggling exactitude. I'm completely the opposite, but to an untutored eye, our work could look similar. I may do an article looking at this phenomenon sometime in the near future, so stay tuned.


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Below: OK, yes, this bit is 'Op Art'. We were testing the materials and having a laugh seeing how it works. But for me, this is too obvious a pun.





Wednesday, 21 June 2017

BLACK BOX

When in doubt, just paint over it...but save a little bit from the previous iterations, just in case.


Acrylic On Canvas, 50cm x 50cm


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