Saturday, November 6, 2010


by Alexis Peskine

Alexis Peskine was born in France of mixed Afro-Brazilian and Franco-Russian heritage. Much of his work touches on issues of identity, specifically the position of Black people in predominantly white European and American society. The striking powerful image of a black man, hands up against a wall, "...happened to me throughout my youth" Peskine says. This painting .."translates the feeling of a sense of shame when you're in this position."

A notable aspect of his work is his use of nails that resemble the way Roy Lichtenstein used Ben-Day dots but used to create shading within a silhouette ala Kara Walker. “I use Photoshop to translate an image (that I generally stage and shoot) into halftone pattern dots and then I recreate this image painting it on wood and using nails with different size of heads to replace the dots.” The nails "..represent the transcendence through struggle of Black people", Peskine remarks. "They have an aesthetically useful dual nature. They can be painful, spikes, but they they can also be used  to build things."

Alexis received his Master's of Fine Arts Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Royal School of Art (Baltimore, MD) in 2005 and his Bachelors of Fine Arts, Painting and Photography (Summa Cum Laude) Howard University (Washington, DC) in 2003.

Bouquet for Loving
by Nanette Carter  

In excerpts from an essay by Nanette Carter published in the magazine, Black Renaissance Noire(Volume9 Issue 2-3 Fall 2009/Winter 2010), Carter writes: "Through Al Loving I was introduced to a group of black painters that were all abstractionists living and working in New York City. The group included Bill Hutson, Jack Whitten, Howardena Pindell, William T. Williams, Peter Bradley and Ed Clark. Having just finished undergraduate school at Oberlin College, I was comforted by the cadre of like-minded visionaries. I call us visionaries for the mere fact that we all had invented new worlds and systems using some of the most unlikely tools. Ed Clark used a long industrial broom to paint with; Howardena's small circles, made from a hole puncher, were clustered and glued together in the thousands, creating a lush fantasy scape. Big Al Loving was a sight sitting behind an industrial sewing machine, piecing together his collaged canvas paintings.

In my series Bouquet for Loving, I am paying homage to my mentor. For the first time I am using plants and flowers as my catalyst. These are not run of the mill creations but rather a creation from my minds eye. The drama of nature has been the catalyst in my creative output for over 30 years....,I have encountered a kaleidoscope of exquisite scapes and foliage, ever changing, ever moving. Afterwards I deconstruct these images, only to reinvent a new construct. Since 1997 I started working on frosted Mylar exclusively, using oil sticks and oil paint, hoping to achieve the maximum luminosity, density and transparency. Expressionistic lines, painting, printmaking and collage are a part of my process.

If Al could see some of the younger artists who are achieving recognition for their visionary work, such as Shinique Smith, Odili Donald Odita and Julie Mehretu, I know he would be proud.

In the Bouquet for Loving series I wish to thank, honor and have a conversation with my dear friend. I just needed to pay homage to my mentor and my comrade in the fight to invent new realities.

No comments:

Post a Comment