Artist Profile: Alex Paik
My small-scale paper assemblages feel like dense clusters of brightly colored forms that threaten to simultaneously explode and collapse, hugging the line between being tightly composed and loosely improvised. There is a sweetness about the work in the twee color palette and the toy-sized scale, but at the same time a fuck-all swagger in the laughably lo-fi paint handling and angular, chopped up forms. I’m not really a formalist in the sense that I agree with the Platonic undertones or the inherent Modernist dogma associated with it, but more like the 5 year old son of a formalist who is inventing a playground formalism – a formalism that is more interested in problem solving and invention rather than answer-giving or unified systems of thought.
Country musician Harlan Howard once said that all you needed to write a good country song was “three chords and the truth.” In many ways, my work follows this maxim – by taking a lo-fi and straightforward approach to artmaking, I hope to reveal some truth about my materials or my process through work that is refreshingly sincere, gracefully underworked, and guided by serendipity.
Maybe if Ellsworth Kelly, Paul Klee, Thomas Nozkowski, and Richard Tuttle were the Lost Boys on Never Land and grew up on video games, classical music, and indie pop, this is what they would make. Or maybe they would focus on fighting pirates.