Alexandria Levin has exhibited her work in galleries, museums, and cultural centers across the country since 1981. Her paintings are in private collections from Boston to Tokyo and London, as well as in 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. Painting has always been a means of story-telling about her life, as well as portraying her observations of the world. Her natural inclination to allegorical, narrative work has continued to deepen over time, and has continued through to include landscapes that tell stories and abstractions that evoke emotion.
In early 2016, Alexandria moved to the Pacific Northwest, a place she has visited often over the years, and dreamed about for a very long time. Portland is now her home.
For selected exhibitions, publications, collections, awards, and more, view the Artist CV.
Painting is religion to me. It is pure bliss. It is how I commune with the spirits. The sensual act of painting in oil is one of balancing truly being able to see, while giving form to that which is unseen. I spend quality time with a painting, developing a relationship with the work over a period of weeks, sometimes months. I build up layers, scrape away, glaze over with transparencies, add more opaque paint with brushes and other tools... Until the painting itself tells me, “I’m done.” The song is complete, but there are many more to compose. And so I keep painting. I paint to sing. I paint simply to breathe.
Creating art has always been a means of story-telling about my life, dreams, and visions, as well as my observations of, and thoughts about, the world. I process things visually. My natural inclination to allegorical work has continued to deepen over time, and I often play with mixed realities. Much of my work contains a gritty magical realism to it.
These days, I work primarily with photographs I have taken while a being a passenger in a train or a car. The animal paintings, of course, are referenced with photos taken while on foot. I use these 4x6 inch snapshots as loose source material from which to begin the process. After the first lay-in, I let the painting itself take over – playing with abstraction, memory, intent, and metaphor – and only occasionally will I look at the photo to remind myself of one thing or another.
There are elements in my current work that recall my earliest paintings; the factories, the dark houses with blank windows, the personified trees, that eerie sense of distance, the stare. They are expressive of something much deeper going on below the surface, balancing story with both real and abstract impressions of what has been seen seen and/or experienced. I consider art to be thought made visual. Personal, social, and ecological issues remain prevalent in my work, and most likely always will.
Alexandria has recently published a book of lyric-poetry, Songs in Search of a Tune, joining her self-published books on the arts and creativity, Drawing Out the Muses and Pricing Your Artwork With Confidence.
She also works on various freelance graphic design and web development projects. Click here for more info.