When you first look at them, the paintings of Brooklyn-based Alex Roulette look pretty normal. The action is set in and around realistic fields, playgrounds and roadways—but there is more than meets the eye in these fascinating scenes. It is as if a mysterious void or some great source of light or darkness is just waiting to break into the frame and envelop everything.
“The paintings explore tension caused by the unknown and unseen,” writes Alex. “Constructing an imagined world where the familiar is disrupted and a new light is shed on the ordinary. The uncanny imagery speaks to the strangeness of everyday life. In order to capture moments that have never happened, I use a process of collaging various photographic references. Rendering the paintings in a realistic way brings immediacy, but further inspection sparks curiosity because of the inherent falsehood.”
The painter explains further: “The fictional scenes depicted in the paintings, piece together non-linear narratives from a youthful perspective. I focus on adolescence because it’s a time filled with strong desire, curiosity, and discovering how to relate to the world. The paintings attempt to find meaning within the physical distances of objects and activate the spaces in-between, while investigating how people engage with others and environments in non-social ways.
“The observed mingles with the imagined within the paintings. I think back to moments travelling when time felt endless. Days spent on trains and buses, looking through windows to get a glimpse of the countless unknown places passing by. Each one containing worlds which I will never set foot in nevertheless my imagination allows stories to form against these backdrops. Memories arrive without choice and blur the past with the present. The train will inevitably pulls into its final destination in the dark. Waking the next morning in a fog surrounded by unfamiliar sights and smells, a feeling of unease and nervousness takes over. It is as though you look down towards the net that would be there to catch your fall, appears now to have too many holes. It no longer feels safe.”
Alex was born in 1986 in Columbus, Ohio. He obtained his MFA from Columbia University and BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Links: Website (www.alexroulette.com)