After being gifted a bag of cedar by Comanche artist Nocona Burgess, George Alexander had an epiphany. “A new perspective sort of hit,” he says. “And I don’t know, I just couldn’t get that cedar out of my head.”
This led him to create the works featured in his upcoming show at King Galleries, aptly titled Cedar Dreams.
“I see the cedar as a way to reinforce positivity in my life and I want these paintings to be a reminder that you can always have a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances are,” he shares.
When it comes to creating for Alexander, connection is key. “I have to feel a really deep connection with my source material in order to paint it,” he explains. “Until that happens,
I keep it on the back burner.” Such source material includes bison, deer, other wildlife and even astronauts. No matter what’s on the canvas, however, Alexander’s art is always, in some way, a reflection of himself.
“Through my work, I express my connection to the world around me,” he says. “As I continue searching for belonging and purpose, painting gives me a reason to look beyond the surface. Each time I create a piece, I see a little bit of myself that I have not seen before.”
In Identity Theft, Alexander addresses how the world views cultural identity. “It sort of corresponds to the notion of, ‘I am Native American, but I am also not. I am a human being,’” he explains. “Using the gold leaf to cover the eyes, I wanted to express that I am more than what you see. And so are you.”
Waking Up From a Dream—in which an astronaut awakes on a couch while sleepy visions of bison peek through in the corner— also contemplates what it means to be human. “Much like an astronaut looking from above, they see no country, no race and no border,” says Alexander. “But also like an astronaut, it feels lonely because you have removed yourself from a connected source to find a new one. One day, I hope to see a world with no bias and [where] culture is fluid—welcomed to all walks of life—and social labels are left behind so we can enjoy this experience that we call life.”
Discussing his work Heavy Thoughts, which depicts a bison standing on a couch, Alexander reflects, “Your thoughts are going to go with you no matter what, so you have to live with them.”
Its counterpart, Along for the Ride, shows a similar bison being lifted up by a single balloon. This, Alexander says, is a reminder that, “Heavy thoughts don’t actually weigh that much.”
Washed with cedar hues, the works in the series reflect an overarching theme of cleansing
thoughts—the cedar serving as a reminder to Alexander that he is “just a fish swimming through water.”
“As I continue painting, it is a self-reflected dialogue on how I am feeling or where I am going,” he adds. “Painting allows me to have a direct connection to my thoughts and emotions. By allowing the abstractions [to] blend into the figurative objects, there is a [harmonious] blend of colors that peak through. I view this as a metaphor for connection to my feelings and action.”
For a direct link to the exhibiting gallery go to www.westernartcollector.com
Identity Theft, charcoal on paper with goal leaf, 18 x 24”
Heavy Thoughts, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 40”
Floating, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40”
Wings of a Hawk, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24”