Alexandra Zalce

               My work is a direct reflection of who I am as an individual: my culture, experiences, concerns, and preferences. When I walk into my studio, I don’t walk alone. I bring with me a selection of images, textures, colors, and stories ready to exist within the boundaries of a rectangular canvas, limited only by my imagination and creativity.

               Specifically, my images come from Mexican folklore, Latin American literature, contemporary culture, and my personal experiences. Each painting is a portrait or story of the personal, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the human experience. In my work, the “human experience” is represented by a female figure who exists in, and is part of, an overpowering environment.

The Baptism.  All of my paintings are stories; They have a beginning, middle and end. Yet, each image is just one moment in a character’s life. In The Baptism, I chose a very important day in a young mother’s life, her son’s baptism, to tell the story of a young woman who needed to follow her culture’s expectations (get married and have children), in order to be “happy,” and feel a sense of work and accomplishment. Unfortunately, in this case, the woman is left alone and disillusioned and struggles to stay calm and content. Overall, the painting consists of real and imaginary images, and the dense environment surrounding the woman is the result of her continuous thoughts and fears.

Relationships. This painting is about the relationship between three members of a dysfunctional family. The woman’s main purpose in life is to look for the father of her child. The father’s main purpose in life is to run away from his commitments. The child cries, and suffers, but doesn’t know why.  Overall, the painting consists of three figures, an “echo,” and a whirlpool for a background. The nude figures are vulnerable and physically attached to each other. The “echo” represents the mother’s angry voice heard throughout her vicious environment.

Temporary Peace. I’m not a religious person, but I love to visit Mexican churches. I especially like to see the saints. They always seem to be eager to console the needy. While visiting La Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis, in Tijuana, Mexico, I was impressed by one particular saint dressed in black. She had many followers praying by her feet. She seemed content and they seemed consoled. Afterwards I painted Temporary Peace, a piece about the need to leave everything behind in order to seek refuge in a mystical place where saints are real and miracles possible.