As I may have said more than once, I love surrealism – and I specially love self-portraiture by women. Combine the two, and you have, for me at least, a visual feast I come back to again and again.
Alexandra Bellissimo offers a banquet of delights – a series of self-portraits into which she uses collages elements of nature – shrubs, bushes, trees, tree roots, birds to create fascinating human + nature images that have you staring.
I have never been a great fan of collages, because they are not often done well.
But in Alexandra’s work, the effect is awesome – and she’s almost converted me. I wouldn’t mind having some of her work on my walls. And, because of her, I might actually seek out other collage artists in the future.
She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. where she received her BFA in photography. Her body of work strongly revolves around the theory of “making” pictures instead of simply, “taking” pictures. She executes her visual intentions through incorporating traditional collaging techniques, as well as digital manipulation to each surreal photograph. As she says on her website she “… has always been motivated towards the creation of unique imagery”.
She is rather new on the scene having graduated relatively recently – here’s a video of her graduation on Vimeo but she already shows a maturity of concept, wit and aesthetics making her one to watch.
This is how she describes the process of creating the color image first in the set above “…Here is my newest collage that I have completed, (and look! there’s color!). I have to say, this is hands down the most FRUSTRATING collage I have done to date…Shooting my self-portrait with the green backdrop in my studio was cake. When it came to physically piecing it together it was extremely challenging. I was using different photographs of moss covered boulders with different focal points in order to create the appearance that layers of moss were wrapping around my face. It’s difficult to see in the scan above, but there are at least 100 separate pieces of moss to make up the entire mass of it all. The entire collage took about 5-6 full days to complete.”
And then comes a bit of panic: “…So how many collages did I say I wanted to finish by 2011?……20?…Yikes.”
But in the end, Alexandra triumphs.
[We will feature an interview with the artist as soon as is possible.]
See more of Alexandra Bellissimo here: