Wednesday, 15 November 2017

NEW UPDATES COMING...SOON!

Sorry for the delay, it looks like the updates will be ready after the weekend of 18 - 19th November. ;)


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

NOW ON INSTAGRAM!

I've opened an Instagram account to document my work and travels. Just look up 'Alexi K Artist' next time you're on there!


Below: City Hall, New York, photographed on Saturday 28th October, 2017.



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


DETAIL SHOTS









Tuesday, 13 June 2017

U.S...AIN'T

Experimenting with random shapes, saw a familiar form trying to emerge, so ran with it. Fans of Philip K. Dick might be especially appreciative - PKD is a big influence on a lot of contemporary artists. Not that you'd know that if you go by what academics write, but you can usually spot aficionados a mile away, just from the art they produce.


Below: Alt History Flag, Vector Drawing with texture, 2017.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

SAMPLER

Busy experimenting with shapes and colours. I'll post some examples as soon as I feel like I'm getting somewhere.


Monday, 15 May 2017

LOOKING UP

...is something I often forget to do, while working on new art.

In this pic, my pieces are the ones with straight lines. All the others are by Zarina ( link to come as soon as she's finished updating her website ).

Today at the Studio


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

[ANOTHER] KIND OF BLUE

The great thing about being an artist is that even when you bunk off work, you are still technically at work. I finally got to experience some 'British Summertime' today, so I absolutely made the most of it.


YESTERDAY [ 09 05 2017 ]


Below: Current work-in-progress, photographed with bright sunshine coming through the studio blinds.







TODAY [ 10 05 2017 ]

Found this amazingly huge ceanothus bush just off a busy road in Worcestershire.









Studio colleague and my blue Kona bike.



My variation on a Greek salad: Slice loads of grapes and blueberries and throw those in with the leaves, olives, feta cheese, olive oil and vinegar.





Wednesday, 19 April 2017

[MORE] SURFACE TENSIONS: CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS


Okay...so what happens when the piece you are working on, no longer looks any good, but isolated areas look beautiful? This piece has been constantly evolving - on and off - for two years. It's a 60 by 60 acrylic on canvas, and I don't know whether it's because of the size or proportions, but despite scores of revisions, it has never looked satisfactory to me. 






You've seen from previous posts that I am fascinated by what is happening on the surface of my paintings. I love holding a painting in my hands, and playing the light across it, reading it from side to side like an engraving, or a piece of lazer-etched nanotech, or a 3D topographical map. To me, they look like buildings, cities, or even worlds.



This is how minimalism probably started: Cameras got invented, and artists inevitably would document their work, focusing on details of interest, and then come to the same conclusion that I have - that the details look better than the actual painting.



I used various new techniques to get the paint to behave differently. I like to degrade the surface to keep it from looking too smooth. I want it to look both rigidly uniform, but weathered, like a piece of modernist architecture that hasn't been maintained.


I asked my studio colleague for her opinion the other day, and apart from finding the current colours 'revolting', she observed that it's not the composition that seems to interest me, but the lines on the surface. She said it's no longer a painting, it's an installation. 


I find that perhaps it's more like a sculpture, because I'm constantly attacking the surface with a knife, or peeling bits off, or waiting until the paint is like a kind of plastic cement, and trying to mould it.


Since these pictures were taken, the painting has changed again, which is why I won't show photos of the whole piece. And also because I assume people will find it as anticlimactic as I do.

i [ am a ] CAMERA

I was given an iPhone recently, to use as a music player. Then I discovered the camera...


Below: Mixing colours for my 'concrete' paintings.



I'm actually shocked at how good it is. In fact, this phone is better than my actual camera. The only thing that will prevent the iPhone replacing the old camera is because no-one at Apple has thought to attach a wrist strap for those tricky leaning-out-of-a-building shots.


Below: A police helicopter, hundreds of feet above the city. No rotor blur!



Below: Birmingham reflected on a communal hand-dryer.


Below: I love the design of this poster.



Below: The Typhoo Building ( near my studio ), where Spielberg filmed Ready Player One, last year.



Below: Birmingham UK, as seen from the Custard Factory.