Artist of the Disappearing World
Alex Beard is an accomplished and successful artist living and working in New Orleans with an international following. He creates a mythical, magic world for us to go into.
It’s a kind of dream world, full of all sorts of interesting people,some of which you might be tempted to call animals but which I see as really just people in a different reality. The way I think of him living in New Orleans as the kind of talent that’s putting the new back into New Orleans after the terrible destruction of the Hurricane Katrina there.
Here are some of his own words, taken from the video of our conversation. (Below you can click on links to the whole of it . Totally worth listening to this articulate man, passionate about his work)
Alex Beard: “I grew up in New York City surrounded by pop artists, pop art people, and I knew that art was what I want to do but I had no idea how to go about it. I started with photojournalism one of my parents was photographer and the other was a writer. So I combined the two and after an article illustrated with my photos at a young age 17 or 18 I did an article illustrated with my drawings little darling that’s drawings, little doodlings, and the next thing I was doing was drawing and painting. And then I took a trip to India looking for a tiger in the wild (dismayed there were practically none to be found) and there I discovered a vibrant world of colour and animals and an amazing shop full of painting materials, particularly, oil painting materials, which I fell in love with and I’ve been honouring and celebrating a vibrant colourful world of animals and nature ever since in a way which I learned first from the scene in India. Back in New Orleans I learned from a master under whom I studied for a year all the basics of painting in oils . Building a painting from the stretcher bars up in order to express how I see myself and my story in relation to the world around. For me, that world is a world of animals which are disappearing and so everything I have done since has been to do what I can to make us aware of that disappearing world and what we might do about it. I depict the visual mathematics, all the movements of nature, and how those can be reflected in art to show the ways in which all things are interconnected.
Traveling the world I’d see how things repeat not just in nature but repeat also in indigenous peoples relation to nature and their perceptions of it. What I would want isn’t just paintings and drawings but that my work becomes a door opening a discussion of our relation to nature. That’s what makes my work worthwhile to me. Traveling in East Africa Kenya, last year I became aware of the disastrous rate at which the elephants in particular are getting slaughtered and determined along with some conservationist friends to do something about it when I could. So I started a foundation called the Watering Hole Foundation whose explicit purpose is to work on protecting endangered species http://www.wateringholefoundation.org/.”
Alex’s website: http://www.alexbeardstudio.com/
Videos of interview conversation with Alex and Donato:
Some of his paintings: