by Fei Alexander
Artist: Fei Alexander
from an Article in the “SOUTH BAY PEOPLE” magazine- issue 1, Pg10-11, April 2004
“Easy Reader” newspaper- issue June 24th, 2004 at the ‘Easy Weekend’ section Pg 41/ Pg 47
—- By Art Editor & Journalist Bondo Wyszpolski of the “EASY READER” newspaper & “South Bay People” magazine
The hardest part is facing the blank canvas… But those two or three hours staring at the bare surface are not wasted. The visualizing is a necessary part of the process, and during these moments of seeming inactivity Alexander is contemplating what forms to use, where they’ll go, and what colors or color scheme she’ll employ. The painting is then painted quickly. Except for the details, the piece is completed in less time than she spent working it out in her mind. It is a luxury to be able to paint in this manner…
Alexander does not limit herself to one style of painting, With some artists, it’s clear that everything they create resembles or seems a variation of their other work. But if one looks at Alexander’s work it seems, at first glance, to be a collection of pictures by a variety of artists. Without actually seeing these works, some people might assume that Alexander hasn’t yet found her true calling. What seems closer to the truth is that this artist is brimming with all kind of ideas and is not afraid to explore them.
For instance, about three years ago Alexander began experimenting with the canvas itself, breaking out of the conventional square of rectangular format and coming up with pictures that, physically, had rounded or curved edges. Other canvases she separated, and then realigned or over-lapped their segments. For this writer, there is an organic sense that emerges, as if the picture is liberated out of its usual confines- and more free, too, to actively engage the viewer. For Alexander, this experimenting is a part of her notion that ‘ the fading, the dust, the peeling of a painting as time passes are all supposed to belong to the life of a painting, just like our own lives.’ Suddenly, the frame- as a protective and a decrative [sic] device- is no longer so relevant.
Over the last year or so, Alexander has taken used frames and attached burlap to the back, which hangs down well below the bottom of the frame. Often, the burlap is then braided. This is a feature that again complements or plays against the canvas, but Alexander emphasizes that the focus is still painting as painting, not painting as craft. The current work outwardly, but much of it combines modern painting technique with traditional Asian spirituality. Her intention, as she said is to invite viewers to take time to glance at their inner soul, sensibility and thought. In other words, the quiet look within may lead to self-discovery. Alexander believes that art fuels living energy, that it comes from life and reflects life. She feels, also, that although artists have the creative ability to express their emotions from different angles, they need to work hard and be willing to risk more than the usual person does when they confront and engage their inner selves. The gains may be minimal, and sometimes can scarcely be measured but the reward is in the attempt to do the best. With what is available within.
Through her painting, Fei Alexander expresses vision and heritage, the physical form and its spiritual emanation.