Alexis Anne Mackenzie (b. 1979) is based in San Francisco and works mainly with collage. Her work has been included in several group shows, among them Hide and Seek at KRETS (2010). She has shown separately in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago, but Look Alive is her first solo exhibition outside of America.
The majority of the work at KRETS is based on the silhouettes that remain when the artist cuts out images from book pages. The outer lines of these figures are then placed on other images and create a resonance where overlooked negative spaces are made visible.
The title work of the exhibition is created in a technique characteristic of the artist; floral elements arranged into compositions that make up words and phrases. The characters are subtly incorporated in the images, but appear after a moment’s consideration. By also using photographic elements, instead of only illustrated material, a somewhat different expression appears compared to her earlier work. The still life element is also something new – introducing objects and artefacts that often represent prevailing aesthetics and cultural ideals. Books, sculptures, vases and extravagant floral bouquets; potential markers of status, wealth, intellect and identity.
Look Alive is an exploration of inner worlds and how they are transmitted and projected onto the visible world. All collages are created by hand – cut out from books and carefully assembled as unobtrusively as possible and without obvious seams. The intention is to depict the world as somewhat flawed but yet beautiful. A shining place with a contrasting dark side.