Alexis Hilliard

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Alexis Hilliard is an artist originally from Portland, OR, where she grew up surrounded by nature and music. After High school Alexis found herself drawn to the visual arts, and while studying at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA she was able to work with local renowned Architectural Photographer Robert Pisano. From old darkroom techniques, to complex in camera negative splicing, Alexis found herself exposed to a dramatic wealth of artistic knowledge and photographic know how. In 2006 she received her BFA; majoring in photography, painting and video art. Upon graduation she began working for numerous artists throughout the Pacific Northwest and abroad- including at Gage Academy of Art, The Florence Academy in Italy... but primly for the American painter Bo Bartlett.

Over the following years Alexis was able to work with hundreds of artists as an assistant and model. She gained insight into thousands of classrooms, techniques in every different style and medium, formal anatomy, even composition and art theory lectures. "Every once in a while I still see portraits of myself I didn't know existed" she jokes. "It was the best education, almost like espionage or better yet- reconnaissance of priceless art information." Every night she would take what she heard taught all day and apply the lessons to her own work.

In 2014 Alexis received her MFA from the prestigious New York Academy of Art in Manhattan. She currently lives in Brooklyn and specializes in complex large scale collages. Completely handmade, and fanatically pieced together from thousands of cut out photographs and personal images, Alexis is able to create swirling seductive compositions out of paper. Her collage works are traditionally made "cut and paste" style, assembled from tiny separate pieces of images. Often taking multiple months to complete, her collages are involved and labor intensive. At first glance her works can aesthetically resemble traditional oil paintings, but ironically Alexis' work is completely made of photographic images. "My work is only possible in today's art world, due to our newly accessible digitized online archives, via the uploading of mass imagery over the last few years. There's just so many resources to get incredible historical photos now. It would of taken decades of research in the past, if possible at all."

Though she uses computers for research process and archival printing, Alexis does not use photoshop or digital manipulation of her source materials to help create her craft- just good old fashioned collage, picturesquely translated now for a Post modern age. "I wanted to make art in a way that is distinctively mine and visually serves its own purpose." she states. In developing such a individually solid technique, she retains the freedom to explore different themes within her artwork such as warfare, labor, portraiture, and nature. Through her art, Alexis aims to expand what it means for an artist to work with the possibilities of photography, and to directly evolve the merit and over all medium of collage through a contemporary fine art practice.

 

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