Cool Friends: Alex Leav
Meet Alex, a visual artist born & raised in NYC! Alex’s work mixes the physical with the digital and explores the use of images from social media as source material (a personal favorite is arthur.jpg). We caught up with Alex ahead of her upcoming show as part of a group exhibition at Ki Smith Gallery in the East Village. Stop by to view the show from August 12th to August 29th! With an opening reception August 12th from 5-9pm.
How did you first become interested in fine art?
I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a family of artists (a visit to my grandma’s house didn’t mean cookies in the oven but meant a slab of rock set up for me to sculpt in the garage) and started taking drawing and painting classes when I was 8. I realized that I really loved art (and needed it to be a real part of my life) when I spent a semester studying art history in Europe during my undergrad at the University of Michigan. I visited museums and galleries whenever and wherever I could, seeing the most incredible works in different cities. I learned so much by looking and became inspired to create my own work. Now, I’m working towards getting an MFA at the School of Visual Arts. I’ve learned a ton and am so happy to be doing what I love.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I really appreciate the collaborative aspect of the creative community in NYC. I’ve met so many talented people working on cool projects (from painting to sculpture to chair and candle design to curated vintage homewares and clothing to upcycled sneakers to NFTs ... I could go on and on!), all of whom were happy to talk about their work and experiences, offer advice, or just chat as friends. I’m grateful to have found a space in which I can feel inspired, encouraged, and challenged all at the same time.
What's inspiring you right now?
Joan Didion! I’ve read her essay collections Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Let Me Tell You What I Mean, and the White Album in the last three weeks. Her words, mostly written in the 60s and 70s and particularly about media and image (topics I seek to explore in my work), are strikingly relevant and thought-provoking. These essays have even motivated me to start keeping a journal of my own. I’m definitely not writing award-winning social commentary but having a real, physical place (the Notes app on my phone wasn’t cutting it) to keep my random ideas about life and art has been really productive.
Also, on a completely different note, I am living for this colorful, maximalist resin ring moment (s/o @la_manso). The blob-like, sculptural forms are so fun.
@alxleav on Instagram