“I try to make work that is unconventional, which can be difficult,” explains Memphis-based artist Alex Paulus. With his series of textural, acrylic paintings, Alex depicts his own world through a mix of miniature people in giant landscapes and obscure, comical portraits. “I like to consciously break the rules, but I’m pretty addicted to symmetry, so it’s hard not to have that show up in the pieces,” he says. “I also like to include humour in the work and the titles. I feel like art that is humorous and meaningful sticks with me longer.”
With titles like Found an extremely used diaper in the woods today and The total face transplant was a complete success, Alex’s deadpan tone of voice is echoed within his paintings as the relatively impassive expressions of his characters make his scenes even more amusing. “I usually use acrylic on canvas, but sometimes I incorporate oil paint and collaged drawings and materials into the pieces,” Alex says.
These additions provide a wonderful depth and finish to his paintings, yet it’s only recently that Alex has decided to incorporate other techniques. “I switched to acrylic, after using oils meant the paintings took months to complete. The dry time now is fantastic and if I don’t like it, I can paint over it. However I still like the look of oil paint, which is why I’ve started incorporating it back into the work.”
The artist often uses the internet to source material, which is evident from the broad and bizarre range of topics and situations Alex covers. “If I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for I’ll create an image from my mind, or stage a setting and photograph it myself,” Alex explains. “I also like terrible shows, movies and music from the 80s and 90s – they are full of good references.”