Alexandria Levin has exhibited her oil paintings in galleries, museums and cultural centers across the country since 1981, including ten solo shows. Her paintings are in private collections from Boston to Tokyo and London, as well as in the state of New Mexico’s Capitol Art Collection in Santa Fe. She has lectured on her art in the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia and Tokyo, and was awarded major state grants from the California Arts Council and Massachusetts Arts Lottery Council, plus she has received various exhibition and purchase awards. Ms. Levin attended Massachusetts College of Art to study painting for two years and later returned to school at the San Francisco Art Institute where she received a BFA with honors in 1989.
As a child growing up in New York City, all Alexandria ever wanted was a steady flow of art supplies. She began painting over thirty years ago, and has created four strong, distinct bodies of work since. Her first paintings were influenced by Rousseau, Gauguin, O’Keeffe, as well as the early punk rock scene in Boston. These paintings were darkly colorful, playfully nightmarish, melancholy and full of symbolism. After moving to California in 1985 her art became visually influenced by the coastal architecture, exotic plant life and a quality of light that doesn’t exist in the east, as well as impressions from her travels to Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, Hawaii and New Mexico.
Painting has always been a means of story-telling about her life, illustrating her dreams and portraying observations of the world around her. Her natural inclination to allegorical, narrative work has continued to deepen over time. Twenty years of figurative work gave way to birds, fish and other animals for awhile, and then to anthropomorphic still-lifes; a long series that she is still exploring. Strong drafting ability combined with a vibrant sense of color and composition, and her innate surrealist sensibility from earlier periods, make her paintings a unique and integral part of the current resurgence in representational art and magical realism.
More recently, the background scenes from years of allegorical portraiture have taken on a life of their own, becoming a new series of abstracted works based on that strange sense of place and being. In the Evolution section of this site, you can see how it all folds, spirals and loops together throughout the years.
Alexandria recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, a place she has both visited on many occasions and dreamed about for a very long time. She is on the verge of studying music, to put sound to her poetry and song lyrics, and is planning to publish a few volumes of lyric poetry, to join her self-published books on the arts and creativity. She also works on various graphic design and web development projects. As always, and as the top priority in her life, she is painting whenever possible; following her demanding muse, while continuing to develop her two current bodies of work.
Painting has always been a means of story-telling about my life, my dreams and visions, and my observations of the world. I process things visually. My natural inclination to allegorical, narrative work has continued to deepen over time. For awhile now, I have been playing with mixed realities, and I seem to be developing a gritty magical realism in some of these pieces. Personal and social issues remain prevalent in my work.
For me, art is thought made visual. The sensual act of painting is one of balancing truly being able to see with giving form to that which is unseen. My easel is my cello, the paintbrush is my bow. The brushtrokes are the melody, while the nuances of color are made of individual musical notes. I paint to sing. I paint just to breathe.(Statements relating to specific groups of work may be found on each main gallery page.)