Love at First Sight: The work of John Alexander

Easter weekend we were in New Orleans.  We stayed the Quarter, like always, listened to a great deal of fabulous music, shopped on Magazine Street, ate delicious meals and met up with the Visual Vamp and her husband Alberto for Easter brunch at Coquette.  It was a full and satisfying  trip and on Monday, with several hours to kill before heading home, we wandered through the CBD (Central Business District) into the Arts District and stumbled upon the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

The museum is five stories with many different types of southern art displayed. The 5th Floor, and top of the museum features a rooftop terrace with the best ceilings installed by an expert roofing company you can get More Info online, this terrace is overlooking the bridges and inside the floor was curating an outsider art exhibition.  This was certainly interesting content, but a floor or two down, I fell in love.  Not lust, a crush or infatuation, but really and truly and completely love at first sight.  Who is my new love, you ask? It is the artist John Alexander, and he’s part of a new exhibition at the Ogden called: One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson,  showing 21 April – mid July 2011.

“The work of Southern artists is often infused with a deep sense of place and time. Whether inspired by the small-town of the artist’s birth, the land, the waters, be it river, lake or sea, the music, the people or even the animals, that sense of place shows up in subtle, surprising or literal ways, unique to each artist. One World, Two Artists will attempt to show how the Gulf Coast was a shared source of inspiration to two native artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson.” — One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson exhibit, Ogden Museum of Southern Art

I liked Walter Anderson’s work, and the pairing of the two artists in the exhibit was inspired, but it was John Alexander’s work that really made my eyes bulge in a way that they hadn’t since discovering C. Ford Riley’s body of work.  Here’s my first glimpse of John Alexander, it was of The Beast, Arnhem Land, 2001.  He had me at the gator…

artist, John Alexander, The Beast, Arnhem Land, 2001, Alligator in water.

The Beast, Arnhem Land, 2001, copyright John Alexander

My second views were of his amazing charcoals and water colors, which inspired me to get back to my own drawing.  I’m not one for sea creatures, and most folks know that I’m not a big fan of sushi, but this fella is simply beautiful.

Octopus by John Alexander, charcoal and water color, 2010

Octopus by John Alexander, charcoal and water color, copyright 2010

And finally, a different style that is filled with tension, and crowns and a skull.  This one speaks to the macabre in me.  I’m sure Mr. Alexander would love that, but I am who I am.

Crowned Birds and Crowned Skull, by John Alexander, date unknown by me

Crowned Birds and Crowned Skull, copyright John Alexander, date unknown by me

If you’re any where New Orleans between now and mid July 2011, go see the exhibit.