“Art is the great communicator and it is my firm belief that artists are a gateway to a deeper truth about the human condition.” – Alex Rudin
Whether you’re a passionate art fan or just someone who can appreciate a pretty picture, Alex Rudin’s work is sure to leave an impression. Her creativity, self-expression, depth, and skill would be impressive for someone with decades of industry experience but, for a 22 year old, it’s just astounding.
Later this month, Alex, currently a resident of NYC, will bring her work to Delaware for her first solo show in her hometown of Wilmington. Below, Alex and Lauren chat about Alex’s relationship with art, her creative process, and much more.
Tell us about your relationship with art: when did it start? when did you fall in love with it?
Art to me is not just a hobby or profession, it’s a mentality. Art informs all aspects of my life. Going to college at Parsons taught me how to think like an artist: to value concept as an equal to aesthetics and content. My real love came when I began to understand the transcendental magic of a picture. Art is the great communicator and it is my firm belief that artists are a gateway to a deeper truth about the human condition.
Art has always been a substantial part of my life. I am fortunate to have come from a very creative family which enabled and encouraged me to explore my talents. I have always been artistic, but since I was small my Grandmother consistently urged me to focus on visual arts. These inherited gifts coupled with general support for my work has lead me to adopt art as not only a profession, but a way of life.
Describe your process: do you paint everyday, on certain days or only when you’re inspired?
My practice is informed by my life experiences and heavy introspection. I do not create when I am not inspired. Most of my paintings stem from deeper concepts predominantly focused on my experience and the psychological impact and contemplation of these observations. I prefer portraiture as a means of evoking psychological processes through form, color, and concept.
Is there a message or theme you hope viewers take away from your work?
The majority of my work attempts to peer into the moment when subconscious thought breaks through to conscious reality – of interior honesty amid exterior chaos. The expression of emotion is often diluted or redirected by self-control and other external factors.
We live our lives through a lens of presentation, a theoretical concept of persona. In Jungian taxonomy, persona refers to someone’s public image. This idea represents the mask we wear in public in order to impose a certain image about ourselves. However, one cannot solely retreat into a world driven by their persona without moments of unfiltered emotional breakthrough, sometimes only momentary. These moments of unmasked emotional purity are strikingly simple due to the fact that they are “real”. In an attempt to capture the intangible moment between repression and realization, my work attempts to glimpse into a private reality most people do not acknowledge.
Your incredible portfolio is quite extensive: portraits, architecture, graphic paintings, the list goes on. Do you have a favorite medium, style or subject matter?
As a young artist I continue to spend these formative years exploring content, material, and subject matter. Much of my previous work has been somewhat informed by school and various external factors. It has only been recently that my studio practice has begun to revolve around complete freedom of expression.
My distinct style is constantly evolving. It is clearly informed by past work. I am always surprised to see previous stylistic tendencies I thought gone reappear in my work. This happens all the time. I think of myself as building a visual repertoire, a bank to always source for new ways of communicating.
I do not favor one subject matter or medium over another. I use what the painting demands. In my practice, subject matter and medium are decided by the work, not me. Much of my practice is intuitive. I am the vessel through which the work is realized. Much of the time it feels like the end result is not in my control, but dictated by something intangible.
My work is also significantly informed by art history and my own personal artistic preferences. I am predominantly inspired by artists of the Vienna Secession such as Egon Schiele’s portraiture and Gustav Klimt’s ornamentation. Additionally, I reference from the Art Nouveau movement and the linear architectural taxonomy of Art Deco. Conceptually , I strongly align myself with the avant-garde, dadaist, and surrealist manifestos. These movements address the subconscious and directly challenge the notion of reality.
Your work will be on display at the COCA Art Gallery in Greenville later this month. How does it feel to share your art with your hometown?
Honestly it’s a little surreal, but also super exciting. I am thrilled to be able to present my work in Wilmington where I grew up. Having shown my work only in Manhattan over the past year, I am flattered to have the opportunity to present locally. I am hoping all those “who knew me when” will come out to see what I’ve been up to and enjoy the development of my work.