Alexandria Lira

Born 1989, Long Island, NY

Born and raised in Southampton, NY, Alexandria shortly moved to Brooklyn, NY to pursue a career in Fine Arts at the Pratt Institute, graduating with an MFA. Alexandria currently lives and works in Brooklyn and Long Island City.

Artist Statement

My current series, titled “Fuck Boy” is an exploration of traditional figurative portraiture, seen through the lens of Tinder, the popular online dating (hookup) app. The portraits reveal to the most extreme level of intimacy possible by exploiting the speed and disposable nature of tinder relationships. My process vacillates between performance art and classical glorification of the painted subject matter. I start by arranging what appears to be standard online “hookups” with men that I have never met and have only communicated briefly via text messages. I allow them to invite me back to their apartments where they are photographed in their natural habitats. I am aware of the potential risks of going so deep into a strangers life (particularly as a female). Similar to an anthropologist, I treat each of my subjects as a member of an undiscovered tribe: carefully, respectfully and fearlessly. I am very clear about my intention of photographing these men from the outset of our conversation, yet I am also aware of playing to the ego and sexual desire of each subject. Though implied, I never actually sleep with any of them. I always tell them the work is about Men’s empowerment and ask the subject to pose in a way that expresses their inner glorified self: their god pose. This is not a lie, but perhaps only a half truth because what I really want is for the subject to be as relaxed as possible in order to reveal their duality: the space between their ego and their true, vulnerable inner selves. My photos are all shot using my iphone camera in available light to get an informal aesthetic. I want the images to capture the truth of the space as well, including their personal possessions, dirty laundry and random garbage that they didn’t think to clean up before I got there. I have a particular interest in the books they are reading, their decorating style, and knick-knacks they leave hanging around their living space. I find this to be so important to me mostly because I am able to see nothing but the real actual truth and presence of each person I shoot with nothing staged or hidden.  From here, my painting process begins. I blow up the photos that express the subject best and print them directly onto canvas. This is simply the basis of my embellishments. I am seeking to dive as deep into my impression of the subject while they are fresh on my mind, using painting to express something that can’t be understood any other way. I don’t have a style and don’t give a fuck about being either tight or loose. I only want to get as intimate as possible. Painting a subject captivates a sense of glory and importance through the lens of my documentations and my process. The final work is meant to reveal something deeper then either my exploitation or gestures of glorification. Somewhere in there is the truth, as told from the first person perspective. The viewer is seeing what I see. I am not trying to be feminist, just an artist who takes exciting risks to find something special.

Instagram: @Studio_Alexandria