Bio­gra­phy

Unlike many other female artists of her gene­ra­tion, the Ame­ri­can artist Alexa Meade (b. 1986) has become a suc­cessvir­tually over­night by con­que­ring glo­bal media out­lets with her uni­que approach to pain­ting. Fol­lo­wing the com­ple­tion of her poli­ti­cal sci­ence degree, she chan­ged direc­tions and taught her­self to paint. Having been first inspi­red by the shadows of trees she obser­ved on the grass, she spent months del­ving into a tech­ni­que that­con­ver­sely did not con­vey the selec­ted object as a two-dimensional image on can­vas. Rather the sub­ject is trans­for­med into a repro­duc­tion of its­elf, where the sur­face beco­mes the car­rier of it’s own pain­terly inter­pre­ta­tion, espe­cially when the sub­jects are living or peris­hable items, such as people or fruits. The ephe­me­ral nature of her pain­ting style is evi­dent and what sur­vi­ves of Alexa Meade’s work is the pho­to­graph.
Both the pain­ting and pho­to­gra­phic tech­ni­ques are so tightly coor­di­na­ted that the result is a flat, two dimen­sio­nal space, which achie­ves trompe l’oeil, wher­ein the third dimen­sion is dis­cer­ni­ble only in cer­tain areas, such as near the eyes or hair. Occa­sio­nally, Meade inte­gra­tes her pain­ted models into the three-dimensional space around them, allo­wing them to inter­act wit­hin this self-created world (as seen in “Tran­sit” 2009). The­reby repealing the boun­da­ries bet­ween pain­ting, pho­to­gra­phy, per­for­mance and instal­la­tion. Meade recipro­cateswithin the pre­sent deve­lop­ments in art and tech­no­logy. Ever since the Renais­sance, artists have stri­ved for the lar­gest pos­si­ble illu­sion of spa­tia­liza­tion; Meade hides the natu­ral three-dimensional space, redu­cing the object into it’s own flat per­spec­tive.
In col­la­bo­ra­tion with actress Sheila Vand, Meade deve­l­o­ped the 2012 series “MILK,” in which milk is the per­man­ently chan­ging car­rier of paint that remo­ves the spa­tial con­text of the model and adopts a new, ever-changing iden­tity with the flow of color. Other pro­jects from Alexa Meade address alie­na­tion by means of reflec­tions on water and mir­ro­red sur­faces, rai­sing repea­ted ques­ti­ons of iden­tity and spa­tial loca­liza­tion.
Meade has exhi­bi­ted her art at the Grand Palais in Paris, pain­ted a MINI Cooper on the streets of Tokyo, deli­vered a TED Talk seen by mil­li­ons, sold nearly 5,000 tickets for her per­for­mance at the Explo­ra­to­rium, made a speech at Apple, mode­led for Ralph Lau­ren, teamed up with sci­en­tists rese­ar­ching space-time, and is craf­ting top-secret magic with David Blaine.
Alexa’s art can be found in The New York Times, Buz­zFeed, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN, Jay-Z’s Life + Times, VICE, Vogue, Refinery29, WIRED, Giz­modo, and thousands more media out­lets around the world. Her art has been upvo­ted all the way to #1 on Reddit.com — the “front page of the internet.”

Cur­ri­cu­lum Vitae
1986 born in Washing­ton, D.C.
2005–2009 Stu­dies of Poli­ti­cal Sci­en­ces, Vas­sar Col­lege, Pough­keep­sie, NY
2008 Stu­dies of Euro­pean Poli­tics, Køben­havns Uni­ver­si­tet, Kopen­ha­gen, Denmark
2009– Free­lance artist
Alexa Meade lives and works in Los Ange­les, California
Exhi­bi­ti­ons  (S = Solo show, G = Group exhi­bi­tion, Pr = Performance)
2017 Smuk­fest (Pr), Skan­der­borg, Denmark
Mau­rice Lacroix (Pr), Basel­world, Basel, Switzerland
“Color of Rea­lity” (Pr), Aspen Ideas Fes­ti­val, Aspen, COUSA
“Brook­field Arts” (Pr), Los Ange­les, CAUSA
2016 “Insti­tut Pas­teur” (Pr), The United Nati­ons Buil­ding, New York, NYUSA
“The Fader” (Pr), Boom Basel, Miami, FLUSA
“Pre­miè­res” (S, Pr), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
“Meade Museum” (Pr), Lin­coln Rd, Miami Beach, FLUSA
“Satel­lite Spi­rit” (G), Espace Marais Marais, Paris, France
“Self-Reflection” (G), The Untit­led Space Gal­lery, New York, NYUSA
Pala­cio de Hierro (Pr), Mexico City, Mexico
2015 “Living Colors” (S, Pr), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy at VIO­life, Luxembourg
“Le Pres­si­onnisme 1970 — 1990, les chefs-d’œuvre du graf­fiti sur toile de Bas­quiat à Bando” (Pr), Pin­aco­t­hèque de Paris, France
“After Dark Illu­si­ons” ℗, Explo­ra­to­rium, San Fran­cisco, CAUSA
“A Col­lo­quium Explo­ring the Dimen­si­ons of Space” (Pr), Peri­me­ter Insti­tute for Theo­re­ti­cal Phy­sics, Water­loo, Canada
“Art Paris Art­fair” (G, Pr), Grand Palais, Gale­rie Sisso, Paris, France
“Your Body is my Can­vas” (S, Pr), Gale­rie Sisso, Paris, France
“Sur­faces & Depths” (S), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
“Living Colors” (S), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
“Cele­bra­ting one year at the new loca­tion 12 June 2014 – 12 June 2015″ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
The Bridges Orga­niza­tion: Mathe­ma­tics and Art (G), Bal­ti­more, MDUSA
2014 “Sur­faces & Depths” (S), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
“Made” (G), Monts­er­rat Gal­lery, Monts­er­rat Col­lege of Art, Beverly, MAUSA
2013 INTRO 15” (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich, Germany
NOT NORMAL” (Pr), Mini Cooper, Shi­buya 109, Tokyo, Japan
2012 “Camera-Ready Color” (S, Pr), Smithsonian’s Natio­nal Por­trait Gal­lery, Washing­ton, D.C., USA
“Per­for­ming the Body” (G, Pr), Gale­rie Ivo Kamm, Zurich, Switzerland
2011 “Kunst 11” (G), Gale­rie Ivo Kamm, Zurich, Switzerland
“You Are Here” (G, Pr), Dorian Grey Gal­lery, New York, NYUSA
“Artist Tri­bute Exhi­bi­tion 2” (G), Irvine Con­tem­porary, Washing­ton, D.C., USA
“Satur­na­lia” (G, Pr), Irvine Con­tem­porary, Washing­ton, D.C., USA
2010 “The Art of Giving” (G, Pr), Saatchi Gal­lery, Lon­don, UK
“Pic­ture Pla­nes” (S, Pr), Irvine Con­tem­porary, Washing­ton, D.C., USA
“Mir­ror, Mir­ror” (G), Post­mas­ters Gal­lery, New York, NYUSA
G40 Sum­mitt” (G, P), Crys­tal City, Arling­ton, VIUSA
2009 “For the Heart of DC” (G, P), Long View Gal­lery, Washing­ton, D.C, USA.
“La Noche” (G, Pr), Posi­tron Gal­lery, Bal­ti­more, MDUSA
FLIK Fes­ti­val” (G), Art Whino Gal­lery, Natio­nal Har­bor, MDUSA
Lec­tures
2017 PopTech, Cam­den, MEUSA
Aspen Ideas Fes­ti­val, Aspen, COUSA
2016 Ham­mer Museum, Los Ange­les, CAUSA
Q Sym­po­sium: Peace and Secu­rity in a Quan­tum Age, Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney, Australia
2015 The Explo­ra­to­rium, San Fran­cisco, CAUSA
Apple, Cuper­tino, CAUSA
2014, 2015 Uni­ver­sity of Cali­for­nia – Ber­ke­ley, Ber­ke­ley, CAUSA
2014 Natio­nal Cathe­dral School, Washing­ton, DCUSA
Adobe, San Fran­cisco, CAUSA
Cali­for­nia Insti­tute of the Arts, Valen­cia, CAUSA
Social Inno­va­tion Sum­mit, Sili­con Val­ley, CAUSA
2013 Natio­nal Geo­gra­phic, Lon­don, UK
TED­Glo­bal, Edin­burgh, UK
2012 TEDx­Lon­don­Busi­ness­School, Lon­don, UK
Artist in Residence
2015 Peri­me­ter Insti­tute for Theo­re­ti­cal Phy­sics, Water­loo, Canada
Sum­mit at Sea, Inter­na­tio­nal Waters of the Earth, Miami, FL
2014 Sum­mit Series, Eden, UT
2013 Mem­rise, Lon­don, UK
2011 Sculp­ture Space, Utica, NY
2010 Ann­ma­rie Sculp­ture Gar­den & Art Cen­ter, Solo­mons, MD
Biblio­gra­phy
2017 Kara Wei­sen­stein: “Meet the Body Pain­ting Artist Dis­rupt­ing Por­trai­ture“, creators.vice.com (5/4/2017)
“hyp­no­tic, perspective-bending body art film brings pain­ted por­traits to life”,  designboom.com (1/12/2017)
“Quando l’opera d’arte respira: le instal­la­zioni di Alexa Meade”, video.repubblica.it (1/10/2017)
Robin Roo­ten­berg: “See­ing More Dimen­si­ons — in Color, and Life”, 24life.com (1/5/2017)
2016 “Incredi­ble pain­tings that actually brea­the”, edition.cnn.com (12/5/2016)
Pri­scilla Frank: “These Women Artists Are Their Own Damn Muses”, huffingtonpost.com (10/4/2016)
Char­lie Schmid­lin: “Body Pain­tings and Activist Art In the Ari­zona Desert”, thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/ (5/18/2016)
Helene Laube: “Lebende Bil­der”, newsroom.porsche.com (9/20/2016), also in: Chris­to­pho­rus 377 (2016) pp. 10–16
Gia Kour­las: „Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Wea­ring Paint as They Tell a Tale”, nytimes.com (9/18/2016)
Diana Shi: “Pain­ting Rea­lity on Top of Rea­lity Makes You Ques­tion Rea­lity”, creators.vice.com (7/23/2016)
Carla Her­re­ria: “This Mar­riage Pro­po­sal Is One Hell Of An Opti­cal Illu­sion”, huffingtonpost.com (4/28/2016)
Laura Delarato: “Watch Artist Alexa Meade Lite­r­ally Bring Art To Life”, refinery29.com (3/24/2016)
„What hides in the shadow – Alexa Meade”, silverlakevoice.com (1/27/2016)
2015 Chris Wel­ler “This artist paints on people’s bodies to turn them into trippy 2D works of art”, techinsider.io (12/14/2015)
Trilby Beres­ford: “Cali­for­nia Artist Lite­r­ally Makes a Chalk­board Come to Life”, nerdist.com (11/3/2015)
Jen­nif­fer Ouelette “This Artist Pain­ted Phy­si­cists Into a 3D Living Chalk­board”, gizmodo.com (10/21/2015)
KO Artist Fea­ture Alexa Meade“, katrinaolson.com (8/28/2015)
Jai­mie Wax: “People as an artist’s can­vas“, cbsnews.com (6/11/2015)
Anna-Lena Roth: „2D-Künstlerin Alexa Meade: Völ­lig ver­flacht”, spiegel.de (6/9/2015)
Céline Ron­quetti: „Desi­gual et Alexa Meade célèbrent la Jour­née mon­diale de l’art”, lesoir.be (4/15/2015)
Mireya Roca: „La pin­tora Alexa Meade y Desi­gual cele­bran el Día Mun­dial del Arte”, elperiodico.com (4/15/2015)
„Opti­sche Illu­sio­nen, die lau­fen kön­nen“, mag.desigual.com (4/15/2015)
„Los tra­zos de la moda“, elmundo.es (4/15/2015)
„Artist Shows Off Her Talents By Pain­ting On People”, sfglobe.com (1/13/2015)
Tina Ess­ma­ker: “Alexa Meade, Artist“, thegreatdiscontent.com (1/13/2015)
Mihika Jin­dal: “Meet Alexa Meade, she will turn you into a pain­ting”, sunday-guardian.com (2015)
2014 Marie Fan­tozzi: „Tout l’art de l’illusion“, in: polka 28 (2014) p. 32, see also polkamagazine.com (3/2015)
Marta de la Cal­z­ada: „Deja que te pre­sen­te­mos a … Alexa Meade”, l-inkmagazine.com (10/3/2014)
Lisa Mes­bur: „Alexa Meade is not your aver­age artist …”, b-insider.com (10/1/2014)
Marissa G. Mul­ler: „living color“, in: Nylon Maga­zine 451 (10/2014) p. 42
Ana Iris Simón: „Alexa Meade, tu cuerpo es su lienzo. Ralph Lau­ren y su pro­ject Warehouse“, telva.com (9/25/2014)
Mer­ce­des: “Alexa Meade + Denim & Supply Ralph Lau­ren”, elfashionista.net (9/19/2014)
“Alexa Meade, la mujer que pinta la moda (y a River Viiperi), está en Madrid”, zeleb.es (9/19/2014)
“Life Imi­ta­tes Art”, in: Details Maga­zine (09.2014) S. 206–213
“Alexa Q & A. Broad strokes on a living can­vas”, warehouse.denimandsupply.com (7/2014)
“Alexa Meade trans­forma sala e mode­los em pin­tura bidi­men­sio­nal”, followthecolours.com.br (6/26/2014)
Janelle: „Bene­ath the Spar­rows“, models.com (6/13/2014)
Alexa Meade / Ingo Seu­fert: „Alexa Meade. Sur­faces & Depths”. Cata­log for the exhi­bi­tion June 12 — July 29 2014, Munich 2014
Giada Gen­ti­lin: “Alexa Meade: bet­ween pho­to­gra­phy and pain­ting”, arsenalecreativo.com (4/8/2014)
Doug Bie­rend: „Mind-Warping Pho­tos Turn Sub­jects Into 2-D Pain­tings”, wired.com (3/27/2014)
Mou­thy: “Grrl Crush: Inter­view with Multi-Media Artist Alexa Meade (Part I)”, mouthymag.com (3/26/2014)
Cate McQuaid: „Toy­ing with our ten­dency to trust pho­to­graphs“, bostonglobe.com (2/25/2014)
2013 “Not Nor­ma­lists: Alexa Meade’s Dimen­sion Defy­ing Mini”, minispace.com (10/25/2013)
“Alexa Meade meets Sheila Vand”, kaltblut-magazine.com (10/1/2013)
“Pain­ted Wheels: Alexa Meade Crea­tes a Real-Life Pain­ting on a Mini… and People”, worldnewsviews.com (10/22/2013)
Kate Tor­gov­nick: “Gal­lery: Stun­ning images from Alexa Meade that blur the line bet­ween paint and pho­to­graph”, blog.ted.com (9/6/2013)
Rachel Segal Hamil­ton: “Alexa Meade: Pain­ting on people”, idestap.com (5/28/2013)
Gili Karev: “The Milky Way: Sheila Vand and Alexa Meade”, manifesto.asia (5/10/2013)
“Empire Asia Divi­sion Deli­vers a Bre­ak­th­rough Com­mer­cial for KDB Dae­woo Secu­ri­ties in South Korea With Trans­me­dia Artist Alexa Meade”, empireentertainment.com (5/2013)
“Eye On: Alexa Meade”, theavantgardediaries.com (3/12/2013)
2012 Liz Cook­man: “Alexa & Sheila”, dontpabiconline.com (12/3/2012)
“Alexa Meade And Sheila Vand’s Milk: what will you make of me?”, juxtapoz.com (11/27/ 2012)
“Alexa Meade And Sheila Vand’s Milk: what will you make of me? Is Not For The Lac­tose Into­le­rant ”, huffingtonpost.com (11/27/2012)
Liat Clark: “Why artist Alexa Meade sub­mer­ged her human sub­jects in milk”, wired.co.uk (10/25/2012)
Pri­scilla Frank: “Alexa Meade’s Incredi­ble Pain­ted Pho­to­graphs,” huffingtonpost.com (6/12/2012)
„Alexa Meade Traps You Inside a Pain­ting”, mymodernmet.com (6/12/2012)
Nell Alk: “The Artist in Action”, online.wsj.com (6/11/2012)
Adam Cole: “Pain­tings In (Really) Living Color”, beezodogsplace.com (6/9/2012)
“Alexa Meade@The Natio­nal Por­trait Gal­lery Museum”, juxtapoz.com (6/6/2012)
Bernd Sku­pin: „Wie gemalt: Alexa Meade ver­wan­delt Objekte in Male­rei“, vogue.de (4/13/2012)
“Alexa Meade: Inter­di­sci­pli­nary Artist”, Curiosity.Discovery.com (3/3/2012)
Maria Bar­rio: “Ent­re­vista a la artista Alexa Meade”, ningunearte.com (2/2012)
Mat­hilde Leb­lond: „Alexa Meade and the History of Pain­ting“, 160grams.com (1/16/2012)
2011 Jay: ”Alexa Meade: Deceive the Eye”, visionaryartistrymag.com (11/6/2011)
Ben­ja­min Cantu: “Gemalte Illu­sio­nen”, mb.mercedes-benz.com (11/1/2011)
Rick Schind­ler: „Her Art Asks: Can You Believe Your Eyes?”, msnbc.msn.com (9/2/2011)
Car­lene Thomas-Bailey: “Alexa Meade’s Living Pain­tings”, guardian.co.uk (8/31/2011)
“Art Renews Its­elf by Inno­va­tion”, articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (8/23/2011)
“Now that’s what I call still life: Artist paints directly onto human models to make them look like can­vas­ses”, dailymail.co.uk (8/22/2011)
Hea­ther Mur­phy: “Alexa Meade’s Human Can­va­ses,” slate.com (8/16/2011)
Rebecca D’Angelo: “The Scene”, washingtonpost.com (7/29/2011)
Mark Meynell: “The Pro­phe­tic Power of Alexa Meade’s Living Por­traits”, transpositions.co.uk (7/26/2011)
Maura Jud­kis: “The Alexa Meade show”, tbd.com (3/21/2011)
“El Vivo Retrato”, in: ELLE (Mexiko) 4 (2011) pp. 210–215
Grace Lamb-Atkinson, Cris­pin Lopez III: “In Reverse Trompe L’Oeil, Models Are Both Sub­ject and Pain­ting Sur­face”, pbs.org (3/8/2011)
Yusuf Laher: “Alexa Meade’s Live in Can­vas”, dontpaniconline.com (2/14/2011)
“Pain­ted Lady”, in: Nylon Maga­zine 1 (2011) p. 207
“Dop­pel­gan­ger: Images of the Human Being”, ed. by R. Klan­ten, S. Ehmann, F. Schulze, Ber­lin 2011
2010 “Living Art: Alexa Meade”, in: NY Arts Maga­zine 12 (2010) pp. 102–103
“Alexa Meade”, in: Ame­ri­can Con­tem­porary Art Maga­zine 12 (2010) pp. 38–39
“Alexa Meade”, 5election.com (11/30/2010)
“Ritratti Viv­enti”, in: ELLE (Ita­lien) 10 (2010) pp. 341–344
“Täu­schend echt“, elle.de/Decoration (7/8/2010) and Elle Deco­ra­tion Maga­zine (Ger­many) 7 (2010) p. 32
Maria Popova: „He’s No Oil Pain­ting“, wired.co.uk (7/6/2010) and Wired Maga­zine (UK) 7 (2010) p. 55
Alex San­toso: „Living pain­tings by Alexa Meade“, neatorama.com (4/28/2010)
Michelle Levy: “A Por­trait of a Por­trait of a Por­trait”, ArtSlant.com (4/28/2010)
“Alexa Meade: brin­ging art life”, collegemagazine.com (4/19/2010)
Her­vard Olan­der Mer­ved: “Eks­klu­sivt inter­view: Alexa Meade, mixed media artist”, dluks.dk (3/25/2010)
Dan Zak: “Flesh Per­spec­tive: Alexa Meade”, washingtonpost.com (3/24/2010)
“Dig­ging deeper with Alexa Meade: Exclu­sive Inter­view”, juxtapoz.com (3/20/2010) and Jux­t­a­poz Maga­zine 7 (2010) pp. 24–25
Marta Medina: “Los ‘Cua­dros Vivi­en­tes’ de Alexa Meade”, elmundo.es (4/15/2010)
Vanessa Schnei­der: “Living in a pic­ture – Alexa Meade”, stylemag-online.net (3/18/2010)
“Alexa Meade’s Living Pain­tings”, telegraph.co.uk (3/27/2010)
Mairy Mackay: “The artist who turns people into pain­tings”, arcticles.cnn.com (3/19/2010)
Com­mer­ci­als
2017 Mau­rice Lacroix, Toyota
2015 Desi­gual
2014 Denim & Supply — Ralph Lau­ren, Pro­ject Warehouse
2013 Mini Cooper Japan
KDB Korea
2012 mb! Daimler-Benz
Videos
Nume­rous videos of her works, per­for­man­ces and lec­tures on youtube and vimeo

Alexa Meade

Artist Alexa Meade, paints Guardian correspondent Carlene Thomas-Bailey. Alexa is a Washington based artist who is attracting headlines stateside because she paints people instead of canvases. The result is a collection of walking, talking, living paintings. Her portraits start as subjects who have sat still for hours as Meade paints skin on skin, lips  and eyebrows using her own mixture of nontoxic paints and following the natural contours of their faces.

Pho­to­gra­phy by kind per­mis­sion of Eve­lyn Hockstein

My pain­ting tech­ni­que pus­hes the boun­da­ries of per­cep­tion, com­pres­sing 3D space into a 2D plane and effec­tively blur­ring the lines bet­ween art and life. Typi­cally, when you look at a pain­ting, you’re loo­king at an artist’s inter­pre­ta­tion of the sub­ject pain­ted on can­vas. In my artistic inter­pre­ta­tion of the sub­ject, I paint directly on top of the sub­ject I am refe­ren­cing rather than using can­vas. Essen­ti­ally, my art imi­ta­tes life – on top of life. For example, with Por­trait of a Self-Portrait you are simul­ta­neously loo­king at a por­trait I pain­ted of mys­elf, a photo I took of mys­elf, and at me.“ (Alexa Meade)