À propos Lexi Strauss

About Lexi Strauss Lexi Strauss is a student at the Royal College of Art in London. Currently completing her painting MA, she is the recipient of the 2012/2013 Winsor & Newton Bursary at the Royal College of Art. Lexi has participated in group exhibitions during all over the UK and in Berlin, Germany and will be holding her first solo exhibition at MAC, Birmingham in 2014. She has also won prizes for her work; 2012 Elmley Foundation Award (2012), 2011 New graduate award (2011) at The Drawing Gallery, Hereford and The Judges Prize, The Drawing Gallery, Hereford (2010). Lexi Strauss's Work Lexi’s style and subject matter have developed over the last couple of years. In 2012, she painted on black ground using oil, egg tempera and acrylic, working either very large (2.5m) or quite small (A4) formats. This period was all about empty chairs and tiny doll’s house spaces in a realist style. Today, Lexi is working with acrylic but in larger formats of A3 or A1, creating paintings that are faster, looser and with less detail. Her recent work can be described as humorous and shows imagery of people, animals and especially babies. Interestingly, babies are not a popular subject in contemporary painting as they were historically and Lexi is exploring this. Like most contemporary artists Lexi, uses art to understand and question the human condition, like for instance, Belgian artist Michael Borremans or Gerhardt Richter, who are among her favourite painters. Sometimes Lexi will create abstract works as a form of exercise, to loosen her up creatively, but primarily Lexi is a figurative painter. Portraiture is another aspect of my work that Lexi always returns to because she enjoys people and spending time with them is a wonderful luxury for a painter. What led you to your current direction in art? I came to art about 4 or 5 years ago, after a 15 year career as an actor and having my child. I spent a lot of time engaging in creative activities with him at home and as soon as he went to school I started life drawing, painting and printmaking classes at my local college in Malvern. Painting the portraits was for me the same type of process as performing characters and so much better because I didn’t have to rely on my agent finding me work, I could do it anytime I liked. What's a typical session in your studio like? In shared student studios, there's a lot of coffee and chocolate and chatting about philosophy and girlfriends/ boyfriends! Every day is different. From time to time, I spend time on my computer catching up on emails and researching imagery that relate to a particular subject that I’m working with. Often the best images to paint are the fugitive images that appear out of nowhere amongst the others, when I don’t understand it but it’s really grabbed me - it’s a winner. It’s important to me not to know what it is that I’m painting beforehand - that kills the painting. The process of the experience or discovery results in a successful painting. Yesterday I found an odd image of a dog sitting with a stone statue of itself that made me laugh, I didn’t ask myself why deliberately and then quickly painted it. What's the most important advice you've been given about art? Probably that “The process of the experience or discovery results in a successful painting”. But also that art is all about balance, like in life generally; getting your particular recipe just right for your process and finding your own balance through making. A balance of opinion creates good art. It’s important to be open, not too opinionated and you should never rest on your laurels and believe you’ve got the answers, keep questioning. How do you define success as an artist? For me success means being able to do the above well. It’s not necessarily about how well respected you are within an art world, or how well paid. Sometimes aiming for these things makes forgettable art, and as we have seen historically many art masters were