Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Peyton-Levine.
Alex, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
After growing up in New Hampshire, then living in Oregon for a decade, I moved to Chicago in 2015 to get my master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I love this city, and I’m so happy to be here.
I went to Waldorf school as a child, which had a major impact on my relationship with art. Every subject in school involved art in some way, and I grew up considering art mostly as a language and tool, rather than an object-oriented practice. Inevitably, I have maintained this relationship to making art, wherein I am more concerned with what my work is saying rather than what it looks like.
For me, art has always been a way of looking into myself. I have pursued this career because I embrace the selfish nature of being human, in that our own bodies and our own minds are the fundamental lenses through which we can see the world, and we rely on each other to communicate about our unique experiences and to share what we know. As an artist, my aim is to use my art to engage in conversation.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have a background and degree in painting/drawing, but my practice is very multi-media. I’m very responsive to environment and context, and I will adjust my materials and methods to address the particular circumstances in which I am making work. I work with paint, fabrics, flowers, plastics, paper, wood, found objects, you name it.
One focus of my practice is the examination of feminine power. I aim to create images, objects, and environments that welcome and highlight femme energies and perspectives. I am particularly interested in considering minimalism and post-minimalism from a specifically feminine point of view.
I trust my intuition as a formal artistic tool, and often my work is influenced by my emotional feelings and experiences in my day-to-day life. I look to literature and history for inspiration, but the present moment is my main jumping-off point. I also am very interested in the cliché, the stereotypical, and the basic as legitimate points of entry for deep contemplation; my aim is to present a broad entry point with the hope that I can connect with a more diverse audience. I hope to present ideas through my work and engage with feedback from viewers so that I can better understand how exactly my work contributes to the conversation of feminism.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
Just like every career, I think that privilege, background, politics, and desire have a significant influence on the conditions for an artist’s career. Access to funding, support, and education have given me the opportunity to pursue the work that I want to do. More generally speaking, the value of art and artist seems to be at once uplifted and supported today by the visibility and proliferation of social media platforms, but downtrodden by the exclusion of arts education in public schools. I think cities like Chicago are helping art and artists thrive because there are programs that foster an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity, but we could always use more of those.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Please visit my website www.alexpeytonlevine.com to see documentation of my work and any upcoming events I will be participating in. Also, you can see examples of my process, experiments, and inspiration on Instagram @apeytonlevine
- Address: Mana Contemporary Chicago
2233 S Throop St, Chicago, IL 60608
- Website: www.alexpeytonlevine.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @apeytonlevine