Ge­orge Alexan­der

Cedar dreams

Western Art Collector - - LETTER FROM THE EDITOR - GE­ORGE ALEXAN­DER

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”

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