Alex Israel’s solo exhibition “Cut-Outs” has just opened at Carl Kostyál Stockholm, the Los Angeles artist’s second solo with the gallery.
This exhibition is the one that comes closest to presenting a body of work on paper. I use the term “works on paper” lightly because Sintra is thin but it’s not exactly paper, there is no hand in the works (the medium is usually associated with the artisanal touch/ intimate with the artist) and because the works are not studies (another common function of working on paper). My cut-outs are more “in” paper works, as they are sculptural in their stacked/layered compositions, rather than images on flat sheet-like surfaces.
Their “drawing” is made using computer graphics and a laser cutter. And they are painted with acrylic airbrush paint before their parts are assembled/glued together. The color palette is inspired by Matisse’s Jazz Portfolio (a book of prints made from his “cut-outs” or cut-out paper collages). The “Solo” self-portrait graphic was used to advertise my 2019 show at ReenaSpaulings, in which my holographic avatar performed a jazz solo on the alto saxophone, hence the link to Matisse’s jazz portfolio.
My self portraits and waves are my most iconic symbols/graphics/logos, which came out of my online site
talk show As It Lays and my teen surf movie SPF-18, respectively… and the fin is a newer addition to
my lexicon (it first appeared as an appendix to my Louis Vuitton handbag, then as the “A” in my
LA 2028 Olympic Games logo.
A wave of selfies, self-branding and exposure was on the horizon, and I decided to ride it. I embraced the logo as a symbol of my work, I embraced myself as a brand and eventually brought Self-Portrait into the world as an art object and also as a sticker, billboard , mural, postcard, pin, key ring. , and a luggage tag.
– Alex Israel, Garage, May 2020
Alex Israel began his signature series of self-portraits in 2011. The first self-portrait was originally designed as a digital logo for his online talk show As It Lays, which features Los Angeles-based celebrities including Paris Hilton, Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith. among many other lights.
The graphic silhouette of Israel wearing sunglasses by Freeway Eyewear – the brand he founded in 2010 – quickly turned into a series of brightly colored paintings produced in fiberglass and acrylic airbrush paint – materials used to make surfboards and movie sets in Los Angeles.
I wanted my self-portrait to look like Los Angeles,”
explains the artist,
to capture that stardust in my work.
Alex Israel’s Self Portrait has become both a self-promotional logo and an exploration of all that is exciting and mundane about Southern California aesthetics.
Alex Israel, Cut Outs, September 23 – October 9, 2022, Carl Kostyal Stockholm
About the artist
Alex Israel (b. 1982) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received a BA in 2003 from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and an MFA in 2010 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His recent solo exhibitions include The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2021); Fosun Foundation, Shanghai (2021); Greene Naftali, New York (2019); MAMO, Marseilles (2019); Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2016); The Jewish Museum, New York (2016); and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2015). His first solo exhibition at Carl Kostyál took place in Stockholm in 2013 in the former gallery space
His work is in the collection of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; Center Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
- Works of art Stockholm
Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, founder and co-editor of Art of Conversation and founder of the @worldoffad platform
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