Painter Alexa Meade masks human flesh in thick acrylic paint in a method that “pushes the boundaries of perception, compressing 3D space into a 2D plane, effectively blurring the lines between art and life, [skewing] the way that the core of the subject is perceived.” Meade’s paintings, in distorting space, texture, and the eye’s ability to distinguish real living forms, thus presents both a sensory and a cognitive challenge.
Meade’s work reminds me of sculptors Duane Hanson, Jamie Salmon, and Ron Mueck, who, for contrast, achieve similar ends in technical negative: these photorealistic artists skew perception and subvert the real-unreal boundary between subject and environment with their life-sized (and in the case of Salmon and Mueck, sometimes massive) hyperreal sculptures.
In undermining the visual cues we take for granted as an indicator of the real, both approaches force an unsettling reevaluation of the nature–or even the possibility–of reality.
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