4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph recently interviewed Montreal's Alexandra Levasseur as we wait for this years highly anticipated 2nd Annual group exhibition. Paintings, big and small, to animation Alexandra is a Jill of many trades. Ralph and Levasseur discuss in the interview what its like being a woman creating art in today's world, creative process, influence and Mother Earth. Stay tuned for the opening reception of the second annual 4%ers group exhibition curated by Rachel Ralph coming to Athen B. Gallery this August 13th, 2016. Learn more about Alexandra and her work below!
Alexandra Levasseur | Andrea Wan | Angela Fox
Anne Harris | Beryl Fine | Erin Riley | Hanna Yata
Ileana Tejada | Kate Klingbeil | Kit King | Lauren YS
Marina Capdevila | Meryl Pataky | Nicomi Nix Turner
Noel Morica | Rebecca Morgan | Sheryo
Stacey Rozich | Winnie Truong
In an effort to understand the hysterical minds of this year’s group of 4%ERS, I got the chance to ask them each a few questions on themselves, their work, and the art world from their perspective. With such a diverse group of artists, I wanted to draw some connections, create some continuity, and just see what these artists have to say. No one ever shattered a glass ceiling without asking any questions first. - 4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph
Check out Rachel's past interview with - Lauren YS | Beryl Fine
RACHEL RALPH | Name/Location/Age
Alexandra Levasseur, Montreal, 34.
Have you ever been called hysterical?
Not very often, but it’s happened :)
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art making?
I believe women artists have a distinctive and recognizable feminine style, different both in its formal and its expressive qualities and based on the special character of womens situation and experience. In general,women experience and situation in society, and hence as artists, is different from men’s. Like Linda Nochlin said: “The art produced by a group of consciously united and purposefully articulate women intent on bodying forth a group consciousness of feminine experience might indeed be stylistically identifiable as feminist, if not feminine, art.” I believe it to be true.
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art career?
The love for the arts came to me from my grandmother, who used to paint. So when I was little, for me art was a woman thing. I’ve never questioned the fact that so few women were successful in the art world until the very end of my studies in Fine Arts in Costa Rica. Today, even if my imagery speaks to both genders, I notice a stronger interest coming from women, and this affects my art career, my recognition and the selling of my work, for sure.
Do you think your creative process has anything to do with you being female?
Yes I do. My work is a reflection of me and I am a woman. It is very introspective, I use it as a therapy. The passing of time, the memories, the mystery of life and death are my main consternation. Making art helps me to exteriorize my anguish of the unknown via images of women in troubled state. It is calming.
Your paintings seem to take place in a dream-like, surreal landscape. Is this a reference to any specific location or is it more of a state of mind?
Most of them are specific locations that have an important significance for me. But they are also mixed with invented parts that have to do with my personal experiences and feelings.
There are elements of nature like rocks, plants, and flowers in almost every one of your pieces. What is your connection to nature?
I grew up by a lake, in the woods. Art is for me a way to study nature. Biology, physics and astrophysics, are an infinite source of inspiration. I find a lot of poetry in the contradictions of the nature; it is so complex and so simple at the same time. I find pleasure in the reinterpretation of certain theories. It’s a rich starting point to intend explain or understand the mystery of being.
We’ve all heard the term “Mother Earth.” Do you believe that the earth is inherently female?
There is a strong history of women artists working in collage, stemming from Hannah Hoch to Barbara Kruger. I know you also paint, draw, and animate, but do you feel any connection to this lineage?
Of course I do. My paintings come mostly from collages! This is the first step of my process.
I love the balance you create with color between pastels and the heavier black areas. It seems very consistent throughout your work. Why do you choose to work in this palette?
Contrast, contradictions, oppositions: life is full of paradoxes and that is what I wish to illustrate. Life and death, joy and pain, light and darkness.