Gill Alexander

Gills HeadshotMuch of my work consists of drawings done with stippling, the combination of ink dots. I have used this technique to reduce the marks of the drawing process to the smallest possible units, eliminating the personality or individuality of these units. I also create drawings from blocks of single value made with markers. These, like the stippling drawings, are all about units. I am drawn to the 2D illusions of the mimetic process, and I try to make the realism of my drawings as full as possible. But at the same time I like to emphasize the irreducibility of the units that I am using. There is a pleasure in capturing the experiences of our visual environment. But for me that is not enough. I also want to emphasize the arbitrary nature of the dumb marks to which we must resort in order to capture it. The drawing looks "real" but is it substantively any different from a fleeting image we think we have seen in the midst of a blaze of television static?

My subjects are often people who are abstracted from their immediate surroundings. They are often caught at the moment of prioritizing one aspect of their sensory environment over all others. I try to capture moments of heightened activity or anxiety to make this more obvious. If I can, I also try to make the formal composition reflect some aspect of the subject's interior experience. I try to sress the way that daily life involves a complex visual syntax that we don't always notice as we live it. We make choices about where to look. Of course, some of us never realize we are making these choices. Others even make the choice not to look. I am trying to notice.

In addition to full frame drawings I have an ongoing series of drawings of figures in isolation. While there is a certain guilty pleasure in constructing this kind of negative space, the Figurines Series is really more about how the subject's experiences may be colored by what we don't get to see.

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