What hides in the shadow – Alexa Meade

MANGO LASSI, 2012 © Alexa Meade

We stumbled upon an image of a painting, we were intrigued, the thick brush strokes of the body, the contrasty feel and the details in the eyes of the subject portrayed were hypnotic. We read about the artist and are directed to her website, Alexa Meade…

What we discovered was surprising and first thought that came to mind was.. “genius!”

The ingenuity of Alexa’s work pulls you in, makes you interested in the process as much as the result. Needless to say, Alexa works with mix media, painting, body painting, drawing, photography, video…

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BLUE PRINT, 2010 © Alexa Meade

What started as a shadow study and the way of capturing shadows, than then became a research of lines and how to inform the foreground subject together with its background to turn into working with a living subject together with a “living background”, as a fluid would be, and adding an unpredictable element in the process the result is stunning. Take a look of the work Alexa and performing artist Sheila Vand made together.

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WHITE OUT, 2012 and HEAD TRIP, 2012 © Alexa Meade

“Even though we know that these lines that we draw to color perceptions can be faulty and imaginary we still hold them close to us and we make them real because we want them to be real”

Alexa with her work asks you: “what are these lines that you use to define yourself and to color the world around you, how can you break outside of them and color the edge of the pages?”

Open Your Eyes © Alexa Meade
Open Your Eyes © Alexa Meade

About Alexa Meade


Self Portrait "Double Take" © Alexa Meade
Self Portrait “Double Take”
© Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade is a Los Angeles-based artist who is known for her portraits painted on the human body, making people into seemingly 2-D works of art. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and received critical acclaim from CNN, Wired, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and more. She has lectured at the California Institute of the Arts, UC-Berkeley, Apple, Adobe, and National Geographic London. Her TED Global talk “Your Body is my Canvas,” has been viewed over 2 million times.

Growing up in Washington D.C., Alexa originally carved out a neat path in the life of politics. She interned on Capitol Hill and worked for the 2008 Obama campaign in Colorado as a press staffer. After graduating from Vassar College with Honors in Political Science, Alexa decided that what she really wanted to be was an artist. She had a simple idea to put black paint over natural shadows, which evolved into something much larger. By painting the mapping of light directly on top of a 3D space, Alexa was able to create the illusion that the world was a 2D painting. Alexa travels the world creating art installations and commissioned portraits.

Alexa plays with a lot of projects on the side. She is collaborating with scientists researching spacetime at the Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics. Alexa is making a series of magical paintings with David Blaine. She is transforming her home into a “Fun House” with Chris Hughes, developing a line of toys, and volunteering in the art program at the Braille Institute.