A strange and beautiful world erupts from the majestic chaos of Alexandra Levasseur’s paintings. Within her vivid illustrations portal-like shapes mysteriously appear amidst landscapes, childlike doodles and geometric shapes collaborate with refined body shapes and delicate patterns blend into feminine figures. Her creative process involves brainstorming by cutting out figures from magazines to create a collage that will inform the composition of a new piece. She creates with various materials such as oil paints, colored pencils and crayons. Her introspective work serves as a means to document her own state of mind and investigate human nature, the results are emotionally charged and slightly unsettling. She alludes to the darker sides of emotion while still maintaining a sense of hope, this sincere portrayal of emotion is oddly comforting.
What excites you most about creating your art?
I find it exciting to be able to make my work follow an evolution of ideas and always find new links between those ideas. Creating my art allows me to question life and existence through an everyday game-like activity! It is both therapeutic and constructive.
What are some of your internal influences? Does your mood or daily life experiences affect your work at all?
My work is indeed very introspective. The series I was working on some years ago, was literally exploring how my mood would change through the seasons. Dreams and memories are always crucial in my work too. However, my latest series “Matter and Memory” despite having a focus on the question of identity and elements of my own past, deals also with the need of finding an explanation to the origin of the universe through my obsession with some physics and cosmology theories.
The scenes from your animations look like they are from a strange
and beautiful dream! What do you hope to express via moving images that differs from paintings?
Thank you very much! Films have a special way to deal with the concept of space and time that interest me a lot. The idea of infinite transformation that has been key to my latest work can easily be expressed through moving images. Also the “unquietness” of the body and the mind, and the relation between life and movement makes more sense. The use of sound and music adds an extra-dimension and I find it delightfully challenging!
View Alexandra's films on Vimeo.
Where does your interest in expressing how environments affect human state of mind come from?
It all began when I moved back to Montreal after 10 years traveling (Costa Rica and Spain). The harsh winter, few hours of sunlight a day, etc, was really hard for me. The best way I found to adapt to it, was to document my own state of mind through drawings. It was also deeply interesting to investigate about identity and the concept of “home” and “comfort”. Trying to define who I am, by making inquiries of my background and family roots, putting in to perspective my homeland versus the ten years I lived in foreign countries.
Having studied art and design in many unique places such as Costa Rica and Barcelona, have your travels influenced your work?
That is for sure. Any kind of traveling will probably always influence any person / artist, in a conscious or unconscious way. I met a lot of inspiring people along the way, and absorbed knowledge that is part of who I am now, and this is reflected in my work and will always be, I guess. University in Costa Rica was a nice playground for experimenting and learning the old-fashioned techniques in a time where the Internet was not yet really a tool to investigate or to search for inspiration. Content wise, this paradise-little country has been very special in nourishing even more my love for nature and my interest in the relation between human and nature. On the other hand, my studies in illustration in Barcelona made me discover a huge community of artists coming from everywhere, which was really stimulating!