ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alexandra Grounds (b. 1998) is an American oil painter from Arizona, currently studying at Columbia University and specializing in large scale portraiture. Her portraits, often depicting classic iconic females and peers, aim to rework the patriarchy towards equality and female self-representation. As a young woman in our social and political landscape, the discussion of objectification, over-sexualization and inequality has driven some of her most well-known pieces. Grounds’ painting is her form of resistance, of activism, of empowerment - while embracing her own female sexuality. The artist currently has work displayed at the World Trade Center, with additional exhibitions in multiple galleries nationally.
Where do we belong? What are we supposed to be? Who are we, as a collective group, as individuals?
Speaking as not only an artist but as a female, we’re living in a time when these questions must be posed and contrasted with the handfuls of expectations, bigotry, contradictions, accountability (and so on) that our society has branded as ours. And that leaves us with even more questioning – How can we balance the desire to express our femininity and often sexuality, while maintaining and furthering all that we’ve worked for to this point as women? I paint to raise my voice, and explore the potential of equality. I aim to make my portraits as large as my message and take a stand as a voice of my generation.
My paintings are a way to take the experiences that undermine young women, that shake their confidence and ultimately limit dreams and aspirations, and turn them into a message of power, optimism and comfort. Rather than downgrading female sexuality and after movements such as #MeToo, I want my work to embrace and celebrate these vital qualities. Drawing inspiration from female cultural icons, especially those of the past, I seek to modernize the ideas that made them icons to begin with.
We have built ourselves upon notions handed to us that target our idea of self-worth and potential. In reality, we are built upon ourselves and ourselves alone. We are as strong as the power we give ourselves, which ultimately, is limitless. My art allows me to become a catalyst for understanding and progress in my community. Through my work, I want to capture these emotions with brushstrokes – bold, defiant hues, illuminated, towering subjects – then I could help to empower these women again, bring these issues to light, and advocate for change.
Catching inspiration when it is thrown at me is not the difficult part. There is inspiration flooding each and every inch of this world. The difficulties lie in channeling exactly what needs to be changed through the expressions of my subjects, and to create a narrative that will stand any test of any time through any movement. Painting is no longer the hobby of a teenager, but the start of a dialogue that has no ending.