Alex Leav

Pastel on Paper

19” x 23”

About the Work :: Alex Leav’s (b. 1997) work addresses the contemporary phenomenon of digital consumerism that exists at the intersection of identity and the femme body. Working with oil on canvas, she explores questions regarding “the (modern) individual”: Where does the authentic self begin and the digital self end? How does social media dictate “the individual” through its necessitation of self-branding, promoting, and selling? And, in a larger sense, is it possible for “the individual” to exist in its purest form, completely devoid of surrounding influence? Characterized by overlapping amorphous forms, her works’ compositions mimic the conceptual fusing that occurs between self and digital image (the latter often a marketable abstraction of the former) or, further, between self and collective. The undulating roundness of the abstract forms suggest fleshy bodies and limbs, while their crowded arrangements imitate the familiar sensation of image overload that occurs with social media. As such, the works’ unifying sense of tactility acts as a theoretical subversion of the digital landscape. The variety present both in the transparencies of the oils and the thickness of the brushstrokes demonstrates an emphasis on the materiality of paint.