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Shown: Extraction, War Zone, and 2/day Keeps the Pain Away(Detail)

Alexia Hall

Artist Statement 

Existential crises are the moments that prompt us to question the meaning of our life and existence. The Existentialism of Living Past 2020 is a retrospective of the last few years of my life. This collection of work is a reflection of my experiences battling various disorders, while living through a global pandemic in my early twenties.  
Since being diagnosed with ADD, the self confidence I’ve gained has been an influential factor in my creation process. I am a natural multitasker, and through this experience have discovered that I work best when I have more than one project to focus on. Working this way has helped me to better understand my conditions and regain a sense of control in my life. For months, I decided to photograph my skin after being exposed to sunlight as a way to document my illness and to put distance between me and reality. I reference these photos and the forms created by allergy hives in my work. They are depicted as organic shapes that appear differently when used in separate mediums. The forms outlined appear to resemble a map, whereas in others they serve as full bodied forms. By using the technique of automatism, I allow my subconscious to take control and movement to take over. 
Abstract work was once intimidating to me, because it lacked recognizable iconography and left the message up to the interpretation of the viewer. I now believe that abstraction forces the mind into a place of emotion. It allows the viewer to perceive things based on their past experiences. For example, in my monochromatic lithography works, the use of texture and diagonal lines create motion and a feeling of static on tv. This is how I interpret the physical manifestation of my anxiety.  
Generally speaking, I don’t directly seek inspiration from other artists’ work, Damien Hirst also deals with dark subject matter. My large repeating pill print, follows Hirsts’ silkscreen pill prints “The Cure”. I also utilize a technique similar to Jackson Pollock’s action painting by using more of the body than the traditional easel painting, and leaving evidence of the physical action that took place within the creation process. I purposely create visible brushstrokes and leave a remanence of the medium I am working in. I do this to create a subtle sense of my gestures and transitions. The gradients of color take the viewers eye deeper into the sensations of my images and create spacial depth.   
Although, mental health disorders can be a subject of darkness for those who have experienced such things the viewer can take away a sense of healing through the growth of my art making process. The Existentialism of Living Past 2020 has brought me a sense of closure and will not end with the collection this work. I will leverage this way of working in the future as a way to bring awareness to invisible illnesses, and to continue understanding my conditions and the intimate ways that they affect me. 

 

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